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California Classic: Murray’s Magic fades away while Ellis, Queta show they belong

Kings beat the Heat in game two of the California Classic.

2022 NBA California Classic - Miami Heat v Sacramento Kings Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Game two for the Sacramento Kings in the 2022 California Classic was against the Miami Heat and first round pick Nikola Jovic. No, not Nikola Jokic. The Kings were able to win the the game with a final score of 81-64.

Unlike his debut, Murray played very poorly on offense. He had 9 points and shot 4-15 from the field and 1-7 from deep. However, he was still dominant on the boards, garnering 9 rebounds and had showed some great hussle with an impressive chasedown block after a turnover.

Murray wasn’t the only one shooting poorly. Both teams were atrocious from three due to the amount of rushed 3s they attempted to force up. There were so many bricked shots that at one point the announcers compared the game to a “stonemason’s convention.” In the end, Sacramento shot 28% from deep while Miami shot 18%. Not a great look for those trying to earn a roster spot.

There were also quite a few turnovers in the first half caused by Sacramento’s sloppy play. Whether it was a wayward pass or loose dribble, the Kings amassed 16 turnovers by the end of the third quarter. However, they got it together in crunch time and only had two turnovers in the fourth quarter which likely led to them having such a wide margin of victory.

Despite the negatives, both Keon Ellis and Neemias Queta had pretty good games on both ends of the court. Ellis led both teams with 17 points while shooting 75% from the floor and 5-5 from the stripe. Queta finished with 14 points, two steals and a block while shooting 67% from field and was a constant threat in the paint to any Heat player that attempted to drive to the rim.

Both players are currently on two-way contracts and looking to earn a full-time spots on the Kings’ NBA roster. If they continue to play like this throughout the Summer League, their chances will be looking very high. Defense has been a soft spot for the Kings and both of these guys make it point to lockdown their opponents on a nightly basis.