Sacramento Kings blow out Chicago Bulls to advance to summer league semis

Ra'Shad James of the Sacramento Kings' summer league team. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

LAS VEGAS – A summer league championship is within sight for the Sacramento Kings. Playing a Chicago team without rookie sensation Doug McDermott, the Kings easily handled the Bulls in an 80-61 victory at the Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday.

The Kings got contributions from all across the board in the 19-point win. Five players scored in double figures for Sacramento.

“I think as this week has gone on, we’ve gotten better and better on both sides of the basketball,” Kings coach Michael Malone said after the game. “But all week long in practice before the game started and since we’ve been here, we’ve been stressing ball movement, making plays for your teammate and I think you see that during games. Guys are trying to make the right play out there.”

The Kings and Bulls got off to a slow start as both teams combined to score just 27 points in the first quarter. However, the Kings found their stride in the ensuing periods. In the fourth quarter, the Kings used a 13-3 run at the start of the period to create the separation they needed for the blowout victory.

With the win, the Kings advance to the semifinal round of the 2014 NBA Summer League tournament and will play at 5 pm on Sunday. They’ll face the winner of the last quarterfinal game between the Washington Wizards and San Antonio Spurs.

Notes and analysis of today’s game can be read down below.

  • MarShon Brooks’ impressive run with the Kings’ summer league team continued today. The 25-year-old guard scored 11 points in 13 minutes off the Kings’ bench. He’s done a good job this summer league showing that he can fit his scoring prowess within the scheme of an offense. “I love MarShon’s attitude,” Malone said of Brooks. “He understood that this was about Ben, Nik, Ray, Derrick and Quincy. But when given the opportunity, he’s made the most of it and he’s done it within the team concept.”
  • Eric Moreland is another summer league invite that has had a strong showing here in Las Vegas. Moreland finished with eight rebounds and three blocks, including one emphatic swat on Bulls forward Lance Thomas that drew oohs and aahs from the crowd. The activity and energy out of the rookie out of Oregon State has been one of the bright spots for the Kings here in Vegas.
  • Moreland on his block on Thomas: “I love the two-hand block.  That’s my signature thing. I wish I could get off the glass, but I’ll take that. Everybody keeps trying to dunk on me for some reason. So I’m just going to get them.”
  • Brendan Lane was one of the five Kings that scored in double figures in the win. Lane finished with 10 points and five rebounds in 17 minutes off the Kings’ bench. “Brendan Lane played great tonight,” Malone said. “So happy for him. Great kid, smart kid, hard worker, battles, has toughness.”
  • Quincy Acy has made a strong case this summer league  for the Kings to pick up the final year of rookie contract. The third-year big man out of Baylor finished with 10 points and five rebounds and shot 1-of-2 from 3-point distance. Acy has played with energy and shown an ability to space the floor with his shooting during his time in Vegas.
  • The Kings have said that Ben McLemore has put plenty of work into his game this offseason. After a shaky start to his summer league campaign, McLemore has found himself here in Vegas. McLemore didn’t put up a huge stat line on Saturday, but finished with a healthy 11 points. “Last three games, he’s been terrific,” Malone said of McLemore. “He’s playing much more under control. He’s taking what’s there. If he’s open, he shoots it. If he’s got a chance to drive, he’s driving the ball and making plays for his teammates.”
  • Nik Stauskas fell one-point short of being the sixth King to score in double figures. The rookie guard finished with nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field.
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