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 | Jan. 29 – Feb. 4

Kris Murray got the green light for his first career start.
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 14, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray (13) takes a shot against Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) in the second quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray put together a peculiar week individually but still made a glaring impact on his team’s success. 

The Kings went 3-1 on the week to remain as the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

The lone loss came against the Miami Heat on Wednesday. The second-year star had the hot hand, scoring 33 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field, 7-of-11 from deep and 2-of-2 from the line. He also logged five rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and a steal in the 115-106 defeat. 

Sacramento’s three wins — 103-94 against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, 133-122 against the Indiana Pacers on Friday, and 123-115 against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday — saw Murray fail to reach double-digits in scoring. He scored a combined 15 points — five points in each contest — on 6-of-20 shooting from the field, 3-of-15 from three, and no attempts from the free throw line. 

But his all-around impact remained evident in all three victories, recording 12 rebounds, six assists, and four steals on an average plus-minus of 7.3 to help Sacramento come out on top. 

Kris Murray

Portland Trail Blazers forward Kris Murray appeared in three of the four games last week, including his first start in his young career. 

The rookie played his first game on Monday against the Philadelphia 76ers, where he recorded just one rebound and one block in eight minutes of play in the 130-104 win. 

He didn’t see the court in Wednesday’s 119-116 win against the Milwaukee Bucks, but he logged 14 minutes on the court in Friday’s 120-108 loss against the Denver Nuggets, finishing with two rebounds and a steal while failing to convert his only field goal attempt. 

The Trail Blazers stayed in Denver as they played the Nuggets again on Sunday. This time, Kris Murray got the nod for his first career start in the NBA. He put together a solid performance, recording eight points, two rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal while shooting 4-of-7 from the field and 0-of-2 from deep in 20 minutes of play. Denver came out on top, 112-103. 

Nothing has changed for the Trail Blazers in terms of seeding, sitting firmly at the 14th spot in the West with little hope of competing for a playoff spot. 

Luka Garza

Minnesota Timberwolves center Luka Garza went another week without seeing competitive minutes as he appeared in two of the four games during garbage time this week.

The third-year big saw the floor at the end of Wednesday’s 121-87 win over the Dallas Mavericks and Sunday’s 111-90 win over the Houston Rockets. 

Garza made the most of his time, logging 13 points and one rebound on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from beyond the arc in nine minutes between the two appearances. 

The Timberwolves took the 107-101 clutch win against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a battle for the top spot in the Western Conference standings but fell to the Orlando Magic, 108-106, on Friday. Minnesota remains tied with Oklahoma City for the top seed with a 35-15 record. 

Joe Wieskamp

G Leaguer Joe Wieskamp found himself amid a shooting slump during the three-game slate for the Texas Legends last week.

His best game came in the 121-103 win over the Austin Spurs on Wednesday, where he recorded 10 points, two rebounds and one steal on 3-of-6 shooting from the field, 0-of-2 from deep, and 2-of-2 from the stripe in 27 minutes played off the bench. 

The third-year guard found himself having one of the worst games of his career statistically, logging two points and one steal on 1-of-5 shooting from the field and 0-of-3 from beyond the arc on a whopping -39 plus-minus in just 16 minutes of play in the 122-119 loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors on Friday. 

Wieskamp redeemed himself in the second game of a back-to-back against the Santa Cruz Warriors. He put up seven points and two rebounds on 3-of-8 shooting from the field and 1-of-3 from three on a 13 plus-minus in the 139-126 loss. 

The Mavs are in the middle of the Western Conference as the eighth seed with a 27-23 record. 

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About the Contributor
Chris Meglio, Sports Reporter
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.