With the play-in officially out of reach, the Kings finally handed the keys to their young-ins, and it was really fun! Admittedly, the Grizzlies had zero interest in winning this one since it has no effect on their playoff seeding, and sat their entire starting lineup. But it was good to finally see the next Kings generation unleashed for essentially the first time this season.
It didn’t result in a win, as the Kings fell 107-106. They had a chance to steal the win after Justise Winslow missed two free throws on Memphis’ final possession, but Terence Davis couldn’t come up with a score as time expired. Davis had a rough night, shooting 2-of-18 from the field, but the other Sacramento young players showed out a bit while the veterans sat.
Damian Jones was the first beneficiary, earning the start in place of Richaun Holmes and leading the starters with 12 points in the first half, including 10 in the first quarter. Jones ended the game with his first double-double of the season, tallying 17 points and 11 rebounds while earning six trips to the foul line.
Justin James wasn’t as prolific as in his 31-point outing Thursday, but he still had some impressive moments in his 16-point night, including a dunk from distance in the second quarter.
The real star of the opening session was Louis King, who set a career-high with 16 points in the first half alone. He shot 6-of-9 from the field, earning the start in the second half over Moe Harkless. He finished the night with 27 points in 34 minutes.
Robert Woodard got some run in the first half, the first time he has played since April 2, but the team elected not to press him beyond five minutes. Fellow rookie Jahmi’us Ramsey saw the floor for 30 minutes, but he also had some difficulty connecting on his jumper.
It’s a shame it took this long for the youth of this team to see the floor, but better late than never.