Sacramento Kings

Buzzer Beater: News, analysis from Kings’ 122-112 loss to Portland Trail Blazers

The Kings tipped off their 35th season in Sacramento with a 122-112 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in their home opener Friday night at Golden 1 Center.

Damian Lillard poured in a game-high 35 points for the Blazers, who shot 54.1 percent from the field. Hassan Whiteside had 22 points and nine rebounds. CJ McCollum added 19 points.

De’Aaron Fox had 28 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Kings. Buddy Hield scored 21. Bogdan Bogdanovic came off the bench to score 16.

Fox left the game after suffering what seemed like a minor hip injury on a flagrant foul by Rodney Hood with 2:34 to play in the fourth quarter. Fox said he hopes to be able to play against the Utah Jazz on Saturday.

“It was just the way I landed,” Fox said. “It’s not too bad. We’re going to work on it. We have a quick turnaround tomorrow. I feel like I go, but it’s all up to them and how I feel in the morning.”

The Kings played with better rhythm and pace than they demonstrated in a 124-95 loss to the Phoenix Suns in Wednesday’s season opener, but it wasn’t good enough. The game was tied 57-57 at the break before Portland started the second half with a 12-0 run. The Kings battled back to get within one midway through the third quarter, but the Blazers staged an 11-0 run to reestablish a double-digit lead going into the fourth.

During the game, the Kings honored several former players and other beloved figures from the Sacramento era who were on hand for opening-night festivities. They included general manager Vlade Divac, assistant general manager Peja Stojakovic, former All-Star Chris Webber, Kings radio play-by-play announcer Gary Gerould, former coach Jerry Reynolds and LaSalle Thompson, who was a member of the first Sacramento Kings team in 1985-86.

Bombs away

Before the season started, Kings coach Luke Walton said he wants his team to average 35 3-pointers per game. They hit that mark Friday, making 15 of 37 from beyond the arc. The Kings set a franchise record for 3s made in a home opener, eclipsing the old mark of 14 against the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 2, 2009.

Bagley vows to come back stronger

Kings forward Marvin Bagley III was in good spirits Friday after suffering a non-displaced fracture of his right thumb Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns, an injury that will caused him to miss four to six weeks. Bagley participated in the morning shootaround, hit the weight room and ran sprints with the team’s strength coach.

“This injury is not going to stop me from getting better,” Bagley said. “I’ve just got to continue to keep working so I don’t miss a beat when I get back out there.”

Goin’ back to Skali

Trail Blazers forward Skal Labissiere returned to Golden 1 Center on Friday for the first time since the Kings traded him last season. Labissiere received a warm ovation when he entered the game in the second quarter. He went scoreless in five minutes after posting eight points and six rebounds in 11 minutes in a season-opening loss to the Denver Nuggets.

The Kings traded Labissiere to the Trail Blazers in exchange for Caleb Swanigan before the February trade deadline. Labissiere lashed out against Sacramento when they met in Portland in the final game of the 2018-19 season, erupting for 29 points and 15 rebounds to prevent his former team from reaching the 40-win mark.

Back to back

The Kings are playing three games in four nights to start the season. They will get their first back-to-back out of the way quickly when they visit the Utah Jazz on Saturday night after playing host to Portland on Friday. The Jazz will also be on the second night of a back-to-back after visiting the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. The Kings will play 13 sets of back-to-back games this season.

Injury report

Trail Blazers: OUT — Pau Gasol (left foot fracture), Jusuf Nurkic (left lower leg fracture).

Kings: OUT — Marvin Bagley III (right thumb frature), Harry Giles III (left knee soreness).

Sacramento Kings upcoming schedule

Oct. 26 at Utah Jazz

Oct. 28 vs. Denver Nuggets

Oct. 30 vs. Charlotte Hornets

Nov. 1 vs. Utah Jazz

Nov. 3 at New York Knicks

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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