The Kings passed well and avoided turning the ball over at an alarming rate.
Yet coach George Karl still sees room for improvement after Sacramento had 26 assists with 11 turnovers in its 107-100 preseason win over the Los Angeles Lakers at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“Every game has moments where you’re not happy, but a lot of good play,” Karl said. “I think we missed a lot of shots, a lot of free throws. We had a pace that could have gotten us 115, 120 if we made some more shots. The pass, the confidence in the pass, the speed of the game, was mostly on our side.”
The Kings found plenty of offense despite the absence of DeMarcus Cousins, who rested for the game. Marco Belinelli led the Kings with 17 points off the bench. Darren Collison had 16 points and seven assists off the bench.
Rudy Gay had a game-high 11 rebounds to go with 10 points. Kosta Koufos and Eric Moreland each blocked four shots for Sacramento (4-1).
Point guard Jordan Clarkson led the Lakers (1-4) with 17 points. Kobe Bryant had 10 points before he left the game in the third quarter with a lower leg contusion.
“He just bumped knees,” said Lakers coach Byron Scott. “He’s all right. Bumped knees. He’s fine.”
Much of the talk after the game was about former Laker Lamar Odom. The former Sixth Man of the Year and two-time NBA champion was found unconscious in a brothel in nearby Pahrump.
Odom was stabilized and transported to a hospital in Las Vegas.
“Extremely saddened by that news,” said Kings forward Caron Butler, a teammate of Odom’s in Miami and with the Lakers. “I got a text from a mutual friend and I’m praying for him right now.”
Scott said he found out before the game but did not think it was appropriate to tell the team prior to tipoff.
Lakers forward Metta World Peace, a former King, is a childhood friend of Odom’s.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Peace said. “There’s not one word that I can say right now that’s going to make sense. I don’t know what to say right now.”