The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Hawks in the NBA | Nov. 20-26

Keegan Murray suffered a minor injury while Kris Murray and Luka Garza aim to prove themselves at the NBA level.
Oct+16%2C+2023%3B+Phoenix%2C+Arizona%2C+USA%3B+Portland+Trail+Blazers+forward+Kris+Murray+%288%29+drives+on+Phoenix+Suns+forward+Chimezie+Metu+%284%29+in+the+second+half+at+Footprint+Center.+Mandatory+Credit%3A+Rick+Scuteri-USA+TODAY+Sports
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Kris Murray (8) drives on Phoenix Suns forward Chimezie Metu (4) in the second half at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray had his week cut short after suffering an injury during a game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.

The second-year star played 16 minutes in the first half before remaining in the locker room after halftime due to lower back soreness.

He logged five points, three rebounds, one steal, and one block while shooting 1-of-4 from the field and knocking down a pair of free throws in the 129-93 blowout loss in New Orleans.

Murray went on to miss the next two games as he continued to work his way back to a healthy status ahead of the Kings’ four-game home slate, and Sacramento has managed without him.

Though the Kings lost back-to-back matchups against the Pelicans, they bounced back with a 13-point win against the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Timberwolves to cap off the week.

Sacramento owns a 9-6 record, which is good enough to keep them as the sixth spot in the Western Conference standings early in the season.

Sacramento also has a chance to lock up the first seed in the West Group C Division in the first ever NBA In-Season Tournament, a mini-tournament during the NBA regular season that has teams compete for the NBA Cup and $500,000 per player should they win it all.

The Kings own a 3-0 record with a plus-29-point differential in tournament play. Their next matchup is against the division rival Golden State Warriors, who sit at 2-1 in the tournament.

Kris Murray

Portland Trail Blazers forward Kris Murray continues to bounce back and forth from the NBA to the G League. The rookie played just one game for each team this week.

Murray appeared in the G League on Monday for the Rip City Remix’s contest against the Ontario Clippers, but he struggled to find his shooting touch as he logged eight points on 3-of-14 shooting from the field and 2-of-8 from three. He also pulled in eight rebounds in the 107-103 win.

Murray played just over 17 minutes for the Portland Trail Blazers in their 121-105 win against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.

His impact while on the court was limited as he logged just two points on 1-of-5 shooting with two offensive rebounds and a steal and finished the game with a plus-minus of minus-9 — but the Blazers organization’s trust in the former Iowa forward to play a higher volume of minutes could indicate some more playing time in the future.

The Blazers’ rebuild continues as they own a 4-12 record to sit at the 13th spot in the Western Conference standings — as they have lost nine of their last 10 games.

Luka Garza

Minnesota Timberwolves center Luka Garza saw very limited action for the second week in a row. The third-year big appeared in just one game for the Timberwolves while not playing a single minute for their G League affiliate Iowa Wolves all week.

Garza’s only NBA appearance came in the 112-99 routing of the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. He played just two minutes at the end of the game, recorded one point at the free throw line and one rebound.

Garza was listed as inactive in the Iowa Wolves’ box score for all three games this week.

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About the Contributor
Chris Meglio, Sports Reporter
(he/him/his)
Chris Meglio is a first year student at the University of Iowa studying a double major in sport studies and journalism. He will be working as a sports journalist for The Daily Iowan covering women's volleyball for the fall sports season.