SACRAMENTO – The Sacramento Kings opened the season with a 123-117 loss to the Utah Jazz at Golden 1 Center on Wednesday. Donovan Mitchell’s 24 points led seven Jazz players that scored in double digits.
Willie Cauley-Stein had 23 points on 10 of 15 shooting from the floor, including seven rebounds, four assists, and two blocked shots for the Kings (0-1). De’Aaron Fox added 21 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and three steals for Sacramento.
Marvin Bagley, the Kings No. 2 selection overall in the NBA Draft, came off the bench for six points, and five rebounds in 12 minutes of action. Buddy Hield started at the small forward position and finished with 19 points, six rebounds, and one steal. Harry Giles III had two points, one assist, and one rebound in his NBA debut.
The Kings jumped out to a 9-0 lead and built up a 16-point margin in the first quarter before the Jazz’ clamped down on defense. Joe Ingles contributed 22 points, 17 in the first half, while Rudy Gay added 19 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocked shots for the Jazz (1-0).
Jae Crowder, Alec Burks, and Dante Exum each scored 13 points off the bench. Derrick Favors had 18 points, nine rebounds, and one blocked shot for Utah. Both teams shot 51 percent or better from the field.
The Jazz made 41 of 79 shots from the field while the Kings made 49 of 95 attempts from the floor.
“It just let us know that we need to run,” Fox assessment of playing the Jazz, one of the best defensive teams in the league. “That’s the way we’re trying to play…to push the pace.”
By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer