He won the opening tip and about a minute later hit his first shot, a mid-range jumper along the baseline that bounced up off the front of the rim and in.
Harry Giles III saw the ball go in often Sunday in his first game with the Stockton Kings, Sacramento’s G League affiliate. The 6-foot-10 forward scored 30 points on 13-of-20 shooting, including 2 of 3 from outside the arc, and had four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 23 minutes against the visiting Agua Caliente Clippers in a 120-106 loss.
The scoring output was more than the No. 20 overall pick in the 2017 draft had in any game for Duke in the 2016-17 season or this year’s summer league and preseason. He was held out of action all last season to recover from previous knee injuries.
“It was good,” Giles said of the experience Monday at Golden 1 Center. “Just went out there and learned a little bit.”
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Giles, who was assigned to Stockton right after playing just two minutes in the parent club’s 101-86 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night, was recalled Monday morning, well before the Kings were to host the San Antonio Spurs.
The time on the court at Stockton Arena proved valuable for Giles. Entering Monday, he played in nine games with Sacramento and averaged 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in 9.7 minutes per contest.
“I’m trying to figure out my rhythm on the court,” he said.
He looked to be in rhythm early in Monday’s 104-99 victory. Giles played eight minutes in the first half and had eight points on 4-of-5 shooting and three rebounds. In all, he finished with 12 points, six rebounds and an assist in 16 minutes.
It was unclear if Giles’ assignment and quick recall was just for that contest or part of an extended plan by the Kings, but it’s standard practice to have some players go between the NBA and G League when the schedule permits. That’s part of why the Kings moved their team less than an hour south to Stockton. Before, Kings players had to make the trip between Reno and Sacramento, which is more than a two-hour drive.
Stockton doesn’t have another game until Wednesday, against the Texas Legends in Frisco, Texas. Sacramento also was without veteran center Kosta Koufos for Monday night’s game, so having Giles back gave the Kings depth in the frontcourt.
For now, Giles is back and he isn’t going to worry about what he can’t control.
“It was just a one-game trip,” he said. “Right now, I’m back (with Sacramento), and that’s where I’ll be until they tell me otherwise.”