Kings gameday live: Barnes scores career-high 36 to beat Blazers; off night for Lillard

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Sacramento Kings at Portland Trail Blazers

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Moda Center

TV: NBC Sports California

Radio: Sports 1140 KHTK

Odds: Blazers -5.0

Over/under: 232.5

Morning injury report

Kings: None.

Blazers: OUT — Tony Snell (foot).

Agent: Kings bench Bagley

There were a couple of revelations in the statement issued Tuesday by Jeff Schwartz, the agent who represents Kings forward Marvin Bagley III.

Schwartz said the Kings have passed on potential trades involving Bagley over the past seven months because they weren’t satisfied with the offers. Schwartz also said the team has informed Bagley he will not be part of coach Luke Walton’s rotation when the Kings visit the Portland Trail Blazers in Wednesday’s season opener.

“Sacramento has informed Marvin Bagley he is not in the opening night rotation, which is completely baffling,” Schwartz said. “It’s clear they have no plans for him in the future, and yet, passed on potential deals at last year’s deadline and this summer based on ‘value.’ Instead, they chose to bring him back but not play him, a move completely contradictory to their ‘value’ argument. This is a case study in mismanagement by the Kings organization.”

Walton has talked about using an eight- or nine-man rotation during the regular season. He hasn’t revealed his plans for the starting lineup, but there are some indications he plans to start De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes, Maurice Harkless and Richaun Holmes. That would leave Walton with a bench featuring some combination of Davion Mitchell, Buddy Hield, Terence Davis, Tristan Thompson and Alex Len, assuming Bagley is, indeed, out of the rotation.

Dame Time or Off Night?

Blazers guard Damian Lillard torched the Kings last season, averaging 33.7 points and 8.7 assists with two 40-point games to help Portland go 3-0 against Sacramento.

Maybe the Kings can do better with Mitchell, the rookie first-round draft pick who will make his official NBA debut tonight. Mitchell, nicknamed “Off Night” because of his knack for shutting down the opposition, will get his first crack at Lillard, who sat out when the Kings beat the Blazers 107-93 in a preseason game Oct. 11.

Mitchell has quickly established a reputation as a topflight defender, taking on the likes of Paul George, Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo and even LeBron James in preseason play. Walton said Mitchell’s defense reminds him of Ron Artest, a former NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Fox said Mitchell is already one of the five best on-ball defenders in the league.

Mitchell seemed to be looking forward to the challenge Tuesday when he was asked about guarding Lillard, who only needs 13 points to pass Elton Brand for 100th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

“I’ve been watching him since — actually, the whole time I was in the tournament, I remember watching Damian Lillard clips all the time,” Mitchell said. “I even talked to him after the (preseason) game. I was like, ‘I kind of know your moves.’ He was like, ‘The scouting report don’t mean nothing.’

“To guard a guy like that, who can shoot from anywhere, can get downhill and can also play team ball, it’s kind of hard to just stop him, so I try to go out there and just slow him down, try to throw some things at him that he’s never seen before.”

Pregame notes

Starters: Walton hasn’t been secretive about his starting lineups over the past couple of years, but he isn’t showing his hand for tonight’s game. Walton was again asked if he would reveal his lineup during his pregame news conference. And, again, he politely declined.

Davion’s debut: Walton was also asked about Mitchell making his NBA debut – and what he remembers from his own NBA debut with the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 28, 2003. Walton finished with five points, two rebounds and three fouls in seven minutes in a 109-93 victory over the Dallas Mavericks

“I remember, from mine, I sat on the bench all night and picked up a couple quick fouls when given an opportunity,” Walton said. “Davion is in a different position, a better position, and, for him, any experience is going to be great experience for him. He’s proven that he can handle these situations, so now is just the beginning of the next chapter for him.”

Bagley drama: Walton avoided questions about the latest drama surrounding Bagley, but he made it clear he does not believe it will be a distraction for his team.

“Nope, not with our group,” Walton said. “We’ve got a tight group. We’ve talked about it, whether it’s trades from last year or anything else, we don’t concern ourselves with outside issues. We’re a tight group. You can ask any of the players. They believe in what we’re doing and they’re working hard and we’re in a good place.”

Starting lineup

The Kings finally announced their starting lineup about 30 minutes before tipoff. It came as no surprise to see Fox, Haliburton, Barnes, Harkless and Holmes listed as the starters.

This is the same group Walton started in a 116-112 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in the final preseason game. Walton has described Barnes and Harkless as completely interchangeable, saying he likes the positional versatility they give him at the forward spots.

Halftime

The Kings led the Blazers 62-49 at the half. This is just the first half of the first game of an 82-game season, but Sacramento is already displaying its renewed commitment to defense.

The Blazers got up to 44.2% shooting after going 6 of 15 to start the game, but they committed 10 turnovers and made just 4 of 13 (.308) from 3-point range. The Kings had four steals and three blocked shots while amassing a 27-23 rebounding advantage. Lillard was held to 10 points on 3 of 10 shooting.

Long-suffering Kings fans expressed their excitement on social media and some newfound belief in their team.

Buddy Buckets

Hield knocked down his fourth 3-pointer of the game early in the fourth quarter to tie Peja Stojakovic’s franchise record for 3-point goals.

Stojakovic made 1,070 3-pointers in 518 games for the Kings from 1998-2006. Hield now has 1,070 in 331 games since the Kings acquired him in the trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2017.

Kings win

Barnes made a career-high eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 36 points, helping the Kings hold on for a 124-121 victory.

Fox finished with 27 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Richaun Holmes had 21 points and 11 rebounds. Hield came off the bench to score 17.

C.J. McCollum led the Blazers with 34 points, six rebounds and five assists. Lillard was held to 20 points on 8 of 24 shooting, including 0 of 9 from 3-point range. Lillard missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game as time expired.

“That’s a good win,” Walton said. “It is hard to come up to Portland and get a win, so I’m very pleased with that. We’ve got a lot to take away from that game and a lot to learn from, but it’s always better to try to learn some of these lessons and still pull off a win, especially for a younger team like ours that’s where we’re at right now.

“I’m not very pleased at all with how we played defensively, the details of our defense, in the second half. And I get it, that’s a tough team to guard, but we have to be better. Damian Lillard had a chance to tie the game up and most nights he’s going to hit that.”

Note: Check back for updates with the latest news, notes, quotes and injury updates before, during and after tonight’s game between the Kings and Trail Blazers.

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