Here are three takeaways from the Kings’ 117-116 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.
Bagley makes most of more minutes
Marvin Bagley III has received a noticeable increase in playing time — with mostly encouraging results — since a report surfaced last weekend suggesting the Kings’ front office wanted coach Dave Joerger to give the rookie big man a larger role and more minutes.
Bagley played an average of 22.3 minutes a game over the first 15 games of the season. He has averaged 28.5 minutes in the last four, scoring in double figures each time out while posting two double-doubles.
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Bagley finished with career highs of 20 points and 17 rebounds in 34 minutes against the Warriors. He had 15 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in Monday’s win against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“I’m ready whenever my name is called,” Bagley said. “I’ve been going hard every day, locking in, trying to help my team win. I’m very happy where I am right now, where this team is. Everybody’s getting along. Coach is doing a great job of leading us; all the coaches are. And we’re just having fun, trying to win as many games as we can.”
Joerger said Bagley is developing nicely.
“I think he’ll tell you, as a lot of young guys maybe won’t — I don’t know — the game is still moving really fast,” Joerger said. “You’re like, ‘I’m getting there. I see it. I feel (it).’ I know we did that with De’Aaron (Fox) last year. We didn’t give him the keys right away, just let him see some things, let him pick some stuff up. Both are very cerebral guys.
“Now, all of a sudden, when his time comes — it might be next week, it might be in two months — whenever it is to take on more minutes or take on a bigger role, he’ll have earned it and I’m really impressed with (him). He is special. He is very, very talented. I hope I get to coach him for a long time.”
Jackson, Giles make big contributions
The Kings received key contributions from a couple of unlikely sources at Oracle Arena.
Second-year small forward Justin Jackson finished with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists. He made 4 of 8 field-goal attempts, including some big baskets to keep the Kings in the game in the third quarter.
Rookie big man Harry Giles III had 10 points, four assists and two rebounds. Giles scored in double figures for the second time this season.
Buddy Hield led the Kings with 28 points. Iman Shumpert had 14.
Plenty of firepower
The Warriors have endured some struggles recently with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green out because of injuries, but they are still a formidable team with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson providing most of the firepower.
Durant poured in a season-high 44 points with 13 rebounds and seven assists. Thompson scored 31 points.