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October 31, 2014

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NBA Day 5: The King and His Court

When he actually can make it to his seat inside the COX Pavilion and avoid the autograph hounds long enough to actually do his job as the head coach of the Sacramento Kings, then Reggie Theus is pretty productive.

Fortunately for Theus’ UNLV fans (maybe unfortunately if you’re a Kings fan), the former Rebels' star has been gracious with his time.

“C’mon everybody knows me,” Theus joked. “Everybody who walks around here I know from somewhere. It’s like being in my backyard.

“From guys in the parking lot, to guys at the ticket counter, to everyone on and around the court ‘— I know them all.”

Theus was able to sneak enough time away from his fandom Tuesday to watch his Kings defeat Portland, 75-74 in OT, and improve to 2-0 in Summer League play.

Trail Blazers rookie guard Jerryd Bayless again had a big night, leading all scorers with 26 points — 13 of which came off free throws.

However the 11th pick in this year’s draft couldn’t hit the game-winner when his short jumper in the lane rimmed out right before time expired.

Still the rookie made an impression on Theus.

“He’s an offensive minded guy, who attacks the body of the defense,” he said. “That’s what scorers do.”

The Kings coach would know, he’s watched Sacramento’s own guard, Quincy Douby light it up in both of his Summer League outings.

“Quincy can play,” said Theus of the second-year pro out of Rutgers, who scored a team-best 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting.

Douby, who got to the free-throw line 12 times (made nine) tallied 20 points in Sacramento’s 93-86 win over Toronto on Saturday.

“I want him to feel comfortable and play free. But at the same time we’re trying to have him understand the system and play within his role in that,” Theus said.

“This is a big summer for him, he needs to have a good showing.”

Kings rookie Jason Thompson, the 12th pick out of Rider, provided the game-winning point when he converted a traditional three-point play. With 12.7 left in the game Thompson flew in for a tough lay-up that dropped. He finished things off by swishing his charity shot.

Class in Sessions — During Detroit’s first two games of the NBA Summer League, it sure seemed like the Pistons weren’t going to lose to anyone in Las Vegas.

But on Tuesday Detroit didn’t play Rodney Stuckey and Milwaukee made the Pistons pay with a 73-59 loss at the Cox Pavilion.

“Even though Rodney didn’t play, Detroit is still a great team,” said former Nevada guard Ramon Sessions, who led all scorers with 21 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists.

“We just tried to come out here play hard and get after it on defense to try to win the game.”

Detroit did play former UCLA standout Arron Afflalo, who led the Pistons with 18 points.

The lopsided score came because of the Bucks strong second and fourth quarters. Milwaukee outscored Detroit 41-17 over the 20-minute span.

Milwaukee lottery pick Joe Alexander looked a little better Tuesday than he did in his debut on Saturday. After hitting just two of his 13 shots in Milwaukee's 88-79 loss to Memphis, the 6-foot-8 West Virginia product scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting against Detroit.

Sessions — who started seven games for Milwaukee after moving up from Tulsa of the D-League — joked that the UNLV fans in attendance certainly remember him this week.

“We’re in Rebel nation, I know that for sure," said Sessions, who set a Bucks record with 24 assists against Chicago last April. "But it’s a great atmosphere out here and I like when they're cheering against me."

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