Basketball is back, and so is the struggle. The Sacramento Kings summer league team produced a few energizing highlights but allowed the Toronto Raptors to run them out of the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas by the final score of 90-68.
Both clubs were predictably sloppy in their summer league debuts. The Kings edged the Raptors in turnovers 24-15, and they combined to shoot 9-for-35 from behind the arc. Sacramento’s interior defense was invisible at times, allowing Toronto players to cut to the basket at will, but that didn’t stop the Kings from recording eight blocks.
In his pro basketball debut, Willie Cauley-Stein teased some of the skills that made him a lottery pick. The 21-year-old scored 11 points, five rebounds, two blocks, a steal and a turnover in less than 20 minutes of action. Cauley-Stein was also responsible for the play of the game when he chased down a Raptors prospect on the break to reject a layup at the halftime buzzer.
James Anderson led the Kings with 15 points on 6-of-9 field goals and five turnovers. Sim Bhullar notched four points, 10 boards and five turnovers, and Eric Moreland had three points, six rebounds and two blocks. Duje Dukan chipped in 11 points.
For the Raptors, 2015 46th overall pick Norman Powell topped the club with 20 points. The 20th pick of last year’s draft, Bruno Caboclo added 15 points and three steals. 2015 20th pick Delon Wright dished nine assists.
Sacramento plays its next summer league game at Cox Pavilion versus the Denver Nuggets on Sunday at 5 p.m.