Hawkeyes single-season scoring leader Keegan Murray scored 19 points in his NBA debut on Saturday after sitting out Sacramento’s season-opener on Wednesday.

His scoring total was the third most by a Kings rookie in a season debut. He also added five rebounds.

Murray, the 22-year-old selected fourth overall out of Iowa, checked into the 111-109 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers with 7:28 left in the first quarter to a standing ovation from the home crowd. 

Paul George scored 40 – the 20th 40-point game of his career and fifth with Los Angeles.

“I know I’m able to be the No. 1 option,” George said. “I’m very aware and very confident in my abilities.”

He also talked about Murray after the game.

Sacramento went on an 11-4 run to take a 109-106 lead before George missed a step-back 3-pointer and Nicolas Batum secured an offensive rebound. Norman Powell knocked down both free throws to extend the Kings’ lead and De’Aaron Fox hit a 3 at the buzzer for the margin.

“I thought he took his time and got to his spots,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said of George. “Down the stretch he really carried us … he has to be aggressive. (George and Kawhi Leonard) have to play at a high level and produce for us to win games.”

The Clippers (2-0) were missing Leonard and new acquisition John Wall, who were both out because of knee injury management. They traveled with the team to Sacramento and worked out pregame

Leonard played 21 minutes on Thursday in his first game since he tore a ligament in his right knee in a playoff game in June 2021. Wall appeared in his first NBA game in 18 months after sitting out last season in Houston. Both are expected to play in the Clippers’ home opener Sunday

Reggie Jackson had 14 points for the Clippers, and Ivan Zubac had 10 points and eight rebounds.

Fox had 36 points to lead the Kings. Kevin Huerter had 18 points hitting five 3-pointers. Domantas Sabonis added 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Mike Brown is still seeking his first win as Kings head coach.

“I thought tonight we completed a little closer to 48 minutes than we did the other night,” Brown said. “There’s no moral victories but I thought we did trend this way (points up) tonight.”

KINGS HONOR BROWN

The Kings held a moment of silence before the game for longtime referee Tony Brown, who died Thursday at age 55 from pancreatic cancer. Brown officiated more than 1,100 regular-season games and 35 playoff games

TIP-INS

Clippers: Los Angeles was called for two delay of game fouls after receiving a warning. Sacramento shot two technical free throws. … Los Angeles has won 15 of the last 20 matchups against the Kings.

Kings: Sacramento shot 15 for 26 from the free throw line, which led to fans booing in the third… Sacramento is 0-2 for the first time since 2019, when they started the season 0-5. “As a team, we have to be able to step up there and make free throws,” Fox said. “We know that can win and lose games.”

Fox also scored over 30 in the season opener. He’s just the fourth player in franchise history with 30 points or more in their first two contests of a season.

UP NEXT

Clippers: Host Phoenix on Sunday night in Los Angeles’ home opener.

Kings: At Golden State on Sunday night for Sacramento’s first road game of the season.

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