Bogi: ‘You Have to Be Focused and Keep Believing’
“Even when we were losing, I felt the chemistry building.”
Despite a less than ideal start to the season, Bogdan Bogdanovic never lost faith in the squad.
“You just have to be focused and keep believing and be positive, work every day.”
No. 8 had a magical night from the hardwood on Tuesday, finishing with 25 points, 10 assists and four steals in 32 minutes off the bench.
With De’Aaron Fox sidelined with a sprained ankle and Marvin Bagley III nursing a fractured thumb, Sactown needed a complete team effort to defeat Portland.
And they got just that.
“[This game] shows that the team is growing,” said head coach Luke Walton after his team’s 107-99 win.
“That the team trusts each other as a group and something that would have affected us early in the season and turned into a 20-point first quarter deficit and we stayed steady.”
In their last four contests, the Kings have had four different leading scorers.
Five players scored in double figures on Tuesday, but the team attributes the win to their defense more than anything.
Just ask Damian Lillard.
“It was obvious what their game plan was,” the four-time All-Star admitted.
“They wanted to take me out. They picked me up from full court, denying me the ball, trapping from start to finish, that was self-explanatory.”
Lillard was held to just 10 shot attempts, nearly half his average (21.2) for the season.
“That’s why — not only tonight, but I feel like slowly even if our numbers haven’t showed it, guys are starting to understand and really make steps as far as individual defense and team defense,” Walton continued.
Another reason for the team’s improvement on the defensive end?
“The other day someone doesn’t box out the end of a drill and Trevor snaps on them, says ‘We’re 3-6. We don’t think we have to box out?,’” Walton recalled.
“He used different language than that, but when we have vets that have won championships that are reinforcing the same idea, I think that gets through to the team a little bit too.”
Sacramento will be tested once again when they travel to Los Angeles for a battle with the Lakers on Friday.