Here are three takeaways from the Kings’ 132-93 preseason loss to the Utah Jazz on Thursday night at Golden 1 Center.
Another slow start
The Kings are developing a bad habit of slow starts and this was the worst yet.
The Golden State Warriors outscored the Kings 10-0 to start the game and held a 39-18 lead at the end of the first quarter last week at KeyArena in Seattle. Even Maccabi Haifa, a second-division professional team from Israel, jumped to a 9-2 lead before the Kings gradually took control Monday night at Golden 1 Center.
This one was ugly on a whole different level. The first smattering of boos came when the Kings fell behind 32-7. A louder chorus of boos rained down when the Jazz took a 62-29 lead with 2:21 to play in the first half.
The Kings missed 12 of their first 13 shots and finished the first quarter 4 of 27. Utah led 39-10 heading into the second quarter and took a 71-35 lead into the break at halftime.
Shumpert makes Kings debut
Veteran guard Iman Shumpert made his Kings debut after missing the first four preseason games with a sore calf. Shumpert came off the bench to post two points and four rebounds in 19 minutes.
Shumpert, 28, was acquired last season at the trade deadline in the deal that sent George Hill to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He never suited up for the Kings after developing plantar fasciitis while recovering from knee surgery.
Shumpert has been plagued by injuries throughout his career and played more than 59 games only twice in his first seven seasons in the NBA. If he remains healthy, he could provide depth at the shooting guard and small forward positions, but Kings coach Dave Joerger has not indicated how he plans to use Shumpert.
Strong showing for Bagley
Despite his team’s struggles, rookie Marvin Bagley III had another strong outing for the Kings. The 6-foot-11 forward finished with a team-high 17 points and eight rebounds.
Bagley had one of the highlights of the night early in the second half. Running the floor in transition, he went above the rim to catch a lob from Buddy Hield. Bagley threw down an emphatic two-handed dunk, cutting Utah’s lead to 30.
Bagley is averaging 13.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in five preseason games. He had a double-double in last week’s loss to the Lakers, posting 19 points and 10 rebounds.