Rookies Harry Giles III and Marvin Bagley III score combined 37 points in Kings win over Hawks
The Kings opened their season-long, six-game home stand with a 135-113 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center. Here are three takeaways from the game:
Giles breaks out
Before the season, Kings big man Harry Giles III had never played a minute in the NBA but was garnering a lot of attention.
Held out last season to recover from knee injuries, the start to Giles’ career didn’t quite match the talk. He’s had two short stints in the G League and entered this game averaging 5.6 points in 12.5 minutes.
He had his best game as a pro against the Hawks. Scoring on dunks, layups and short hooks, the rookie scored a career-high 20 points, six better than his previous high set earlier this month in a home win over Detroit.
Giles shot 10 of 12 and had seven rebounds in 20 minutes.
Boost from the bench
The Kings got off to a slow start. A little less than halfway through the opening period, Sacramento found itself down 20-10 to a team it beat by 31 in November.
Marvin Bagley III and Bogdan Bogdanovic were soon summoned off the Kings’ bench. Other second-unit players later entered the game and the reserves helped give the Kings a 32-31 lead at the end of the quarter.
They never trailed again.
“The bench came in, did a fantastic job and that energy gets contagious, the passing gets contagious,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said.
Overall, the Kings’ bench outscored the Hawks’ reserves 80-49, led by Giles’ big night. Bagley recorded his seventh double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds and Bogdanovic, despite a rough shooting night (5 of 14, 3 of 10 from 3-point range), finished with 16 points and his seven assists tied De’Aaron Fox for the team high.
Living up to his nickname
Fox is known on social media as Swipathefox. The Kings’ starting point guard was on an impressive swiping streak, but it ended Wednesday.
Fox had recorded at least one steal in each of the last 19 games. He was credited with a steal, but that was later corrected. During the run he averaged 2.1 steals per game.
For the season, Fox records 1.7 steals a night.
Upcoming schedule for the Kings
▪ Feb. 2 vs. Philadelphia 76ers — The Kings will get their first look at the 76ers, who are among the leading contenders in the Eastern Conference with a star-studded lineup featuring Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid.
▪ Feb. 4 vs. San Antonio Spurs — The Kings handed the Spurs a 104-99 loss Nov. 12 in Sacramento, but San Antonio looks like a much better team now. The Spurs have won 11 of their last 16.
▪ Feb. 6 vs. Houston Rockets — Sacramento has lost eight of its last nine against Houston, including a 132-112 setback at Toyota Center on Nov. 17. The Kings’ lone victory during the stretch came the last time the teams met at Golden 1 Center, 96-83 to close last season.