OAKLAND, CA – Tonight was certainly not the homecoming Michael Malone and Vivek Ranadivé were expecting. In their first visit to the bay area since leaving the Golden State Warriors in June, their Sacramento Kings were out-shot and out-defended by the home team, losing 98-87 on Saturday evening.
“I just thought the effort, lack of fight, lack of competitive spirit was really, really poor tonight for the most part,” Malone told media following tonight’s loss.
As a whole, the Kings’ offense sputtered. In their roughest outing to date, they shot just 34.5 percent in the defeat. Their defense also faltered in the loss. Sacramento had trouble containing the Warriors on the perimeter, allowing Golden State to shoot better than 51.3 percent for the game and 40.7 percent from 3-point land.
“The first five minutes weren’t us,” Kings starting point guard Greivis Vasquez said after the game. ”We didn’t fight. We didn’t fight until like the last couple minutes of the fourth quarter. The group that was there really fought hard and competed. But, we’re better than that.”
Ben McLemore was the lone King to shine tonight. The Kings rookie came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points on 8-of-17 shooting in 30 minutes.
Losing their first road game of the season, the Kings fall to 1-2 through three contests. They return to action Tuesday night against Atlanta Hawks at Sleep Train Arena.