Sacramento Kings

Buzzer Beater: Analysis from Kings’ 124-110 preseason win over Melbourne United

Kings guards Buddy Hield, left, and Yogi Ferrell defend against Melbourne United guard Chris Goulding, center, during a preseason game Wednesday at Golden 1 Center.
Kings guards Buddy Hield, left, and Yogi Ferrell defend against Melbourne United guard Chris Goulding, center, during a preseason game Wednesday at Golden 1 Center. AP

The Kings sat two starters and several other key rotation players, but they still had enough firepower to close out their preseason schedule with a 124-110 victory over Melbourne United on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center.

Kings forward Marvin Bagley III dominated a scrappy but overmatched opponent from Australia’s National Basketball League, finishing with 30 points and 14 rebounds. Yogi Ferrell, starting in place of point guard De’Aaron Fox, poured in 24 points, making 7 of 11 field-goal attempts and 5 of 6 from 3-point range. Harrison Barnes posted 18 points and six rebounds.

The first quarter featured eight ties and five lead changes, but the Kings eventually pulled away from a Melbourne team that led the Los Angeles Clippers by four at the half Sunday before falling 118-100. Sacramento won its last three preseason games after losing twice to the Indiana Pacers in India, showing progress under first-year coach Luke Walton. The Kings will open the regular season on the road against the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 23.

Star of the night

Bagley logged 28 minutes through three quarters before sitting out the fourth. He made 12 of 17 from the field and entertained the crowd with a few breakaway dunks, but he missed his only 3-point attempt and converted only 6 of 10 from the free-throw line.

Bagley posted his third consecutive double-double. He had 22 points and 11 rebounds in Monday’s 128-115 victory over the Utah Jazz. He had 12 points and 13 rebounds in a 105-88 victory over Phoenix on Oct. 10.

Key moment

The Kings were clinging to a three-point lead following a 3-pointer by Melbourne’s Chris Goulding with 2:43 to play in the second quarter. Moments later, Ferrell made a long 3-pointer, sparking a 10-2 Sacramento run to close the half. The Kings led by 11 at the break and went up by as many as 30 in the third quarter.

Rest and recovery

Fox (back), Cory Joseph (calf), Trevor Ariza (lipoma excision), Harry Giles III (knee), Tyler Lydon (hip), Hollis Thompson (hip), Tyler Ulis (groin), Dewayne Dedmon (rest) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (rest) were all held out of the game. That left coach Luke Walton with just 10 available players.

“There are so many people out that I don’t know who’s officially listed out,” Walton said. “… There are guys who are banged up right now who are not serious injuries, but we need to get healthy going into the season.”

Joseph ready to return

Joseph said he is eager to return after missing the last four preseason games. The team’s backup point guard has been dealing with injury and illness, but he said he will be ready when the regular season starts next week.

Sacramento Kings preseason scores

Oct. 4: Indiana Pacers 132, Kings 131 (OT)

Oct. 5: Indiana Pacers 130, Kings 106

Oct. 10: Kings 105, Phoenix Suns 88

Oct. 14: Kings 128, Utah Jazz 115

Oct. 16: Kings 124, Melbourne United 110

Sacramento Kings upcoming schedule

Oct. 23: at Phoenix Suns

Oct. 25: vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Oct. 26: at Utah Jazz

Oct. 28: vs. Denver Nuggets

Oct. 30: vs. Charlotte Hornets

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Jason Anderson is an award-winning sportswriter for The Sacramento Bee. He started his journalism career at The Bee more than 20 years ago and returned to cover the Sacramento Kings in September 2018.
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