What we learned as Duarte impresses in Kings’ preseason OT loss

What we learned as Duarte impresses in Kings’ preseason OT loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The Sacramento Kings’ first preseason home game saw them face their familiar rivals, the Golden State Warriors. Despite missing key players, including Steph Curry and Draymond Green, the Warrior’s preseason lineup proved to be a formidable opponent. The Kings also had their own setback, with 7-foot-1 center JaVale McGee unable to play due to wrist soreness. The game ultimately resulted in a thrilling overtime loss for the Kings, showcasing their competitive spirit and potential.

Here are the key takeaways from the Kings’ 121-115 overtime defeat:

Switching Up the Game

The Kings’ head coach, Mike Brown, has been emphasizing the importance of defense and physicality since day one. Dissatisfied with the team’s progress in this area, Brown made a strategic decision to start Chris Duarte over Kevin Huerter. Duarte had impressed Brown with his defensive effort in Sacramento’s previous preseason loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. This lineup change immediately made an impact, with Duarte contributing to a strong offensive performance by the Kings, particularly from behind the arc. However, Duarte had to exit the game in the second quarter due to a left knee injury. Despite this setback, his defensive skills and physicality were recognized and praised.

A Second-Quarter Setback

While the Kings displayed exceptional 3-point shooting in the first quarter, they struggled to maintain their momentum in the second quarter. Their shooting accuracy dropped significantly, and they missed all seven of their 3-point attempts. The team only managed to score three points in the first five minutes and 25 seconds of the quarter. However, they regrouped and adjusted their offensive strategy, finding alternative ways to score. Despite their efforts, the Kings were outscored 31-21 in the second quarter, ultimately contributing to their loss.

Sabonis Shines Once Again

Domantas Sabonis, an All-NBA center known for his consistency, continued to impress in the Kings’ preseason game against the Warriors. Sabonis led the team with 19 points, shooting 8-of-11 from the field and 2-of-2 from beyond the arc. He also recorded 11 rebounds and five assists in 25 minutes. Despite previous confrontations and challenges faced against the Warriors, Sabonis remained focused and delivered a strong performance. His reliability and skill have been key in propelling the Kings to new heights and will continue to be vital to the team’s success this season.


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