NBA

Kings rookie Keegan Murray dominated in a preseason victory

SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 9: Keegan Murray #13 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles the ball against the Portland Trail Blazers during a preseason game on October 9, 2022 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.

Sacramento, Ca – The Sacramento Kings dominated on Sunday night. They overpowered the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 126-94. The win moves their preseason record to 2-0. It was a team effort from start to finish, and it had many standouts. De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and rookie Keegan Murray were some of the Kings’ top performers.

Murray dominated this year’s NBA Summer League and won the MVP award. His impressive play has carried right into his first two preseason games. Already he has faced superstars LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and Damian Lillard. But, even though he’s facing top-notch talent, the young competitor hasn’t been star-struck, and the moment isn’t too big.

“I’m just excited, to be honest,” Murray told Sideline Sources. “I don’t feel nervous. I don’t think something’s going to go wrong during the game, and I don’t think anything like that. I’m just excited to go out and play. So I’m fortunate to be in this position because not many people, especially from Iowa, get to be in this position. So I’m just excited to be here, and I know that I won’t take it for granted.”

Dominated but not satisfied

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Eight players reached double figures, and the rookie Murray led the team in scoring for the second straight game with 16. Fox scored 14, and Sabonis added 13 points, while Davion Mitchell’s defense helped hold Damian Lillard to single digits on 2-of-10 shooting. It was a night most would consider a great game, but head coach Mike Brown wasn’t impressed with how his team dominated the game.

“Portland, they really didn’t play their best game, Brown told the media. “Chauncey’s (Chauncey Billups) a great coach, and it’s a really good team down there with a Hall of Famer in Dame Lillard. But there are some areas that we can still grow in, and that’s what I liked about the performance.”

The Blazers are working on figuring things out. They have a new team and a second-year coach, and their superstar is returning from an injury that held him out for most of last season. The Kings face this squad again on opening night, and they expect to see a different team.

“I thought we competed, but I still feel like there are some areas we can still grow in,” Brown told Sideline Sources. “We got to do a better job of trying to defend without fouling. It’s been two games now. We obviously cleaned it up in the second half versus the Lakers. But there’s been two games now that that’s happening.”

Even though coach Brown isn’t satisfied, the Kings are 2-0 in the preseason. Winning is exemplary, and after they’ve dominated their first two opponents, it may roll over to their next matchup.

Next, the Kings will face the Phoenix Suns on the road Wednesday.

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