Labissiere’s Career Night
Wednesday night’s matchup saw the Sacramento Kings win for a second game in a row, beating the Phoenix Suns, 107-101. The victory came with the help of Skal Labissiere, who recorded the best night of his young career.
The rookie recorded a career-best 32 points, alongside 11 rebounds, combining for his first double-double. He is also the first rookie from this year’s draft class to score at least 30. His point total was the highest for a Kings first-year player since teammate Ben McLemore scored 31 against the Suns his first season in the League.
He is only the 41st player in NBA history to score at least 32 points while age 20 or younger. Outside 6-foot-11 Haitian, the only other player to achieve this feat in franchise history is Tyreke Evans.
The most impressive aspect of Labissiere’s night was the last period of the game, when he scored 21 of his 32 points. Totaling the first 16 points of the fourth quarter, the big man did his best to keep his team in the game.
The final frame saw the rookie shoot 6-for-7 from the field, including his 1-for-1 performance from distance. He attacked the Suns defense and was rewarded, going to the free throw multiple times after drawing five personal fouls and finishing 8-for-9 from the charity stripe. He kept Phoenix’s defense off balance, indicated through his point dispersion, with 38.1 percent of his points coming from the line.
His numbers were video-game like in the period, with a 92.9 effective field goal percentage and 95.8 true shooting percentage. His play on the court stretched to both sides of the court, evidenced by his net rating of 46.5, helped by his stringent defense.
He was clutch, providing a spark for his team in the last minutes of the game. With his 21 points, he scored nearly two-thirds of the team’s total in the period. Playing all 12 minutes of the final quarter, coach Dave Joerger rewarded him for his play. The rookie thanked the coach through helping his team to victory.