By Mark Haynes | Observer Correspondent
This first-round series between the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors has showcased two hectic environments. The teams have battled it out in front of sold-out crowds and fans have heavily impacted the outcomes. The Warriors thoroughly outplayed the Kings in San Francisco on Thursday, 114-97.
Stars like De’Aaron Fox and Stephen Curry have thrived in these chaotic atmospheres, but others have struggled mightily. Kings rookie Keegan Murray is one player who has not found his footing, or his shot, but Fox said he still believes in him.
“I continue to encourage him even throughout the game,” Fox said. “It’s difficult, especially for a rookie who played big minutes for us all season. He broke the [rookie] three-point record for a reason. We know he’s skilled and we know he can play. Obviously, the physicality and everything has risen, the intensity of the game has risen, and he struggled a bit. We need and want him to get going. We are not going to take that away from him.”
Murray scored his first field goal of the series in the Thursday night collapse against the Warriors. He finished with six points on 2-of-7 shooting and was 1 of 5 from deep. Not a noteworthy stat line, but seeing the ball go through the net those two times could get him back on track.
This season Murray was integral in helping the Kings have one of the best offenses in NBA history. If they want to get past the Warriors, they will need that version of the rookie to put away the defending champs.
The Kings just couldn’t shoot straight – 38% from the field and 23% from three – as the usually reliable Malik Monk shot 1 of 9 and Trey Lyles 0 of 6. Neither could hit a three.
Game 4 is Sunday at Chase Center.