For the first time since 2019, summer hoops are back in the Capital City. The 3rd annual California Classic hosted at Golden 1 Center features the Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat days before the NBA’s Summer League association-wide tournament in Las Vegas, NV.
Fresh off the heels of the NBA Draft less than a week ago, the Sacramento Kings started their newest additions in the contest: No. 9 overall pick and 2021 NCAA Champion Davion Mitchell out of Baylor while No. 39 overall pick Neemia Queta out of Utah State was listed as out in a late scratch pregame.
The Kings started the game with Mitchell alongside Marcus Graves, Robert Woodard, Louis King and Emanuel Terry. An Emanuel Terry slam off a Louis King assist put Sactown on the board with 8:01 left to play in the first frame. Davion Mitchell quickly followed with his first bucket in the purple and white from beyond the arc making his first NBA 3-pointer.
A low-scoring first quarter and less than a game plan from both teams left the Kings with a 16-13 lead heading into the second. Mitchell led all scorers with 5 points through Q1.
Off the bench, Sacramento’s Matt Coleman III brought 10 points in Q2, shooting 2-2 from three. Halftime rounded out with the Warriors trailing 41-40. Golden State’s Jordan Schakel led the Dubs with 11 points while Mitchell led all scorers through two with 12 points, a rebound, an assist and a block.
The third quarter rounded out even keel, with both teams scoring 21 points a piece, giving Sacramento the one-point advantage heading into the final frame 62-61. While the Warriors out-rebounded the Kings 34-29 through three, the Kings were able to keep their turnovers to a surprisingly low 6 in contrast to the Dub’s 10. Good looks were had, shots just weren’t falling.
Davion made back-to-back statement steals with 6:45 and 5:01 to play in the fourth quarter, drawing two fouls and making 3-4 shots from the stripe. Displaying the lockdown defense that was so highly advertised to Kings fans on draft night was an added plus to Mitchell’s offensive showout.
Golden State’s Jeff Dowtin tied things up at 80-80 with 16.2 seconds left to play in the contest, ending regulation in a tie the Kings headed into a Summer League standard 2 minute overtime.
The Kings would go on to fall 89-82 to the Warriors in overtime behind Mitchell’s stellar debut.
Another pleasant surprise in the match-up was seeing Kings sophomore Robert Woodard II put up 8 points and 7 rebounds after a quiet rookie season last year.
All-in-all both teams clearly looked like it was their first time going at it together. Neither strung together a very convincing set of cohesive plays or intense chemistry, but seeing Sacramento’s lottery pick in Davion Mitchell impress on the big stage with an unfamiliar supporting cast gives us a good inclination that we are in for a treat throughout the coming weeks.