They were far from flawless, but the Kings defeated the Phoenix Suns 105-88 in their preseason home opener Thursday night at Golden 1 Center.
Six players scored in double figures for Sacramento, which picked up its first preseason victory after losing two games to the Indiana Pacers last week in India. De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 18 points and six assists. Devin Booker had 18 points and seven assists for the Suns.
The Kings still have plenty to work on before they visit the Utah Jazz on Monday. They shot just 41.1 percent from the field and committed 26 turnovers, but they looked much better defensively, holding Phoenix to 31.4-percent shooting from the field and 6-of-33 shooting from 3-point range.
Kings guard Buddy Hield expressed some frustration regarding contract talks with the team in an interview with The Sacramento Bee after the game.
“I’m ready to make things happen, man,” Hield said. “I want to make Sacramento my home. I’m ready to get this s--- done. I want to be here and if it doesn’t happen, then things can go the other way.”
Star of the night
Fox led the Kings in scoring, but second-year forward Marvin Bagley III might have been the game’s biggest standout. Bagley finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds in 25 minutes. He also blocked a shot and showed improved passing skills. Bagley had four offensive rebounds and nine defensive rebounds, preventing second-chance opportunities for Phoenix.
The Suns had already cut a 17-point deficit to eight and they were looking to draw closer midway through the third quarter, but Fox wouldn’t allow it. Fox pulled out one of his patented moves, racing back on defense to record a chase-down block on Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. The Suns managed to get within five later in the third, but Fox put a stop to that, too, drilling a 3-pointer from the left wing to start a 7-0 run for Sacramento.
The Kings missed their first five 3-point attempts before Bogdan Bogdanovic came off the bench to make their first one with 4:22 to play in the first period. The Kings didn’t shoot the long ball particularly well, making just 11 of 31, but they nearly reached coach Luke Walton’s goal of shooting 35 3-point attempts per game.
What’s up, Holmes?
Richaun Holmes made a good first impression on the hometown crowd. The 6-10 forward/center came off the bench midway through the first quarter and immediately gave the Kings a spark, posting eight points on 4-of-4 shooting with three rebounds in his first nine minutes. The Kings signed Holmes to a two-year, $10 million deal in July. He spent the 2018-19 season with the Suns.
Kings assistant coach Igor Kokoskov took a moment to greet Booker when they crossed paths near the Sacramento bench following a first-quarter timeout. Kokoskov served as Phoenix’s head coach in 2018-19, but he was fired in April following a 19-63 season. The Kings hired him in June.
Sacramento Kings preseason schedule
Oct. 4: Indiana Pacers 132, Kings 131 (OT)
Oct. 5: Indiana Pacers 130, Kings 106
Oct. 10: Kings 105, Phoenix Suns 88
Oct. 14 at Utah Jazz, 6 p.m.
Oct. 16 vs. Melbourne United, 7 p.m.