Ben McLemore shines, but Sacramento Kings suffer another sloppy Summer League loss

Ben McLemore stretches during his third contest of NBA Summer League. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

LAS VEGAS – Against the Toronto Raptors today, Ben McLemore squashed any concerns that fans might have about his NBA prospects.  The rookie shooting guard scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half, but his Sacramento Kings still fell 81-70 in their third outing of the NBA Summer League.

  • A common theme for the Kings in Las Vegas has been their woes on offense and today was not much different.  In the opening period, Sacramento nearly allowed Toronto to pitch a shut out, going scoreless in the first eight minutes.  They finished the game shooting 36.4 percent on 20-of-55 from the field.
  • The Kings may have had another agonizing game on offense, but McLemore finally shook off some of his shooting struggles.  The heralded Kings rookie scored his 26 points on an effective 8-of-14 shooting from the field and improved his shot selection by not settling from the perimeter.
  • After the game, the 20-year-old guard credited the form on his shot to his success today.  “I was shooting the ball very well,” McLemore said.  “Just getting my feet right, getting comfortable and just getting a lot of lift up on my shot and stuff.  Like I said, in the second half, shot started falling good for me.”
  • Kings assistant coach Chris Jent on why McLemore finally came out of his slump: “He was just aggressive.  He’s committed to his shot.  His leap into his jump shot is one of his great attributes, so he’s more committed on that shot and I think him driving the basketball early set that up.  Him putting the ball on the floor, drive and closeouts, gave him a little more space, so when you do that, that makes you a better shooter.”
  • The Kings also got a solid contribution from Trent Lockett.  The former Marquette guard chipped in an effective 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field.  Lockett has had a solid showing here in Las Vegas, providing the Kings with good defense and shooting from the wing.
  • After a strong performance yesterday against the Golden State Warriors, Ray McCallum cooled down today.  The Kings’ second-round pick scored nine points on 2-of-6 shooting and dished out only three assists.
  • After today’s loss, the Kings remain winless in Las Vegas.  It’s only Summer League, but that doesn’t mean the team has tempered its competitiveness.  “It’s about wins and losses,” Jent said.  “You want to win and we worked way too hard with our two-a-days, with our preparation to accept losing.  I don’t care what you’re doing – losing is never (acceptable), you never accept that.  And you have to prepare yourself the next time you step on the floor to win a basketball game.”
  • In the Summer League’s new tournament format, the Kings will play tomorrow.  However, the time of the game, which will be the team’s third in three days, has not yet been announced.
  • Seen at today’s game: One of the Kings new major investors Raj Bhathal sat next to new Raptors president Tim Leiweke.  Kings fans may remember Leiweke as the former CEO of arena operator AEG, which offered to front a substantial portion of the failed arena deal at the rail yards.  Also in attendance from the Kings organization – local investor Phil Oates, fellow owner and former franchise great Mitch Richmond, Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer Fredette, Jason Thompson, and Carl Landry.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.