The final score wasn’t to their liking, but Sacramento got De’Aaron Fox back on the floor Saturday, and that’s a win for the Sacramento Kings.
The Milwaukee Bucks collected the actual victory in the scrimmage, 131-123, and led by as many as 29. For the second straight game, the Kings were the victim of a 3-point onslaught, as Milwaukee went 13-of-24 from beyond the arc in the first half. Eight different Bucks chipped in with a triple, including Robin Lopez with two, making it difficult for the Kings to key in on any particular shooter.
Fox, meanwhile, took some time to shake off the rust, making only 2-of-7 shots and missing all three of his 3-point attempts. He did have six assists and gave the Kings a new element with his ability to push the pace. A potentially related subplot to Fox’s presence were Sacramento’s 10 turnovers, a dramatic drop-off from the 18 giveaways against Miami.
“Very, very encouraging having De’Aaron Fox back on the floor, and the total number of turnovers,” Luke Walton said postgame. “We know De’Aaron hasn’t played in a while. A big part of getting out there today was just trying to get his body and his feet under him again so it was great having him out there. And as far as the turnovers, that was probably the highlight of the game for me.”
Kent Bazemore was the best starter for the Kings. Bazemore built upon his high level of activity from the first scrimmage, but cleaned up the mistakes, cutting his turnovers in half from four to two while scoring 16 points and leading the team with eight rebounds. Even when Harrison Barnes starts playing again, Bazemore has made a case for minutes, potentially with Barnes as the two forwards.
Although Harry Giles had a nice highlight bounce pass, he continues to show his limitations as a rim protector. Alex Len and Richaun Holmes can’t come back soon enough.
Kent Bazemore throws it down on the defender pic.twitter.com/DwQ8OHTOpS— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) July 25, 2020
Sacramento’s second consecutive second-half comeback is likely an indicator of other teams resting their main guys in the build up to the seeding games, but the Stockton Kings development program has taken center stage. DaQuan Jeffries, Kyle Guy, and Justin James each had good stretches in the fourth quarter, even if the game had been decided at that point, showing the value of getting the young players some pseudo-Summer League minutes.
Ideally, those minutes are fewer and further between as the Kings pick up their level of play. They get one more scrimmage game before the results count again.