Hot Takes from Pacers' Bennedict Mathurin vs. Kings' Keegan Murray Summer League Game

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 10, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 5: Keegan Murray #13 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles the ball during the 2022 California Classic on July 5, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

In a battle of potential Rookie of the Year candidates, the Sacramento Kings earned a 103-96 win over the Indiana Pacers in Sunday's summer league battle in Las Vegas.

The game featured two of the top six picks from the 2022 NBA draft in Keegan Murray and Bennedict Mathurin, with both players having scored at least 20 points in their previous game. The points didn't come as easy in this one for Mathurin, however, as he scored 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting.

Murray was the better player Sunday with 23 points and three assists, including a strong fourth quarter to help the Kings pull out the win.

Efficiency was an issue as he finished 4-of-12 from three, but Murray showcased a lot of upside:

NBABet @nbabet

Keegan Murray with his 3rd triple of the game 👌<br><br>Kings (+165 ML) 📈 <a href="https://t.co/DoDmxnR3UT">pic.twitter.com/DoDmxnR3UT</a>


Keegan Murray. BUCKET.<br><br>Pacers-Kings is going down to the wire on ESPN! <a href="https://t.co/ekn9kWxjvi">pic.twitter.com/ekn9kWxjvi</a>

Several people had high praise for the forward:

Charlie Walter @CharlieWalterTV

Keegan Murray is going to be really good. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Kings?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Kings</a>

Joke 🃏 @Jokeeee_

Keegan Murray has been IMPRESSIVE

Cameron Salerno @cameronsalerno1

Seth Greenberg on the ESPN broadcast said he talked to Michigan State coach Tom Izzo about Keegan Murray after they played Iowa. Izzo said to him: “Murray was one of the toughest matchups he’s had to prepare for in the last few years because he’s kind of like a silent assassin.”

Cameron Salerno @cameronsalerno1

Sacramento Kings guard Davion Mitchell about rookie Keegan Murray: “Man I love him. Even through the big moments like last game when he played Paolo… he stayed true to himself. He played like himself throughout the whole game. That’s what I love about him.”

Cameron Salerno @cameronsalerno1

Sacramento Kings GM Monte McNair on the ESPN broadcast after watching Keegan Murray hit a step back three: “That guy is pretty special.”

Matt George @MattGeorgeSAC

Another sneaky 20 point game for Keegan Murray. He might lead the league in those next season.

Neemias Queta also impressed for the Kings with four blocks, while Sean McDermott scored 18 on 7-of-9 from the floor.

Mathurin had a rough shooting day, although he showed a broad skill set offensively:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Bennedict Mathurin throws up the lob to Isaiah Jackson 💥 <br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NBA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBA</a>)<a href="https://t.co/459cil2Z3r">pic.twitter.com/459cil2Z3r</a>


Bennedict Mathurin. Splash. 💦<br><br>Pacers-Kings is live now on ESPN! <a href="https://t.co/A4XDl6iUS2">pic.twitter.com/A4XDl6iUS2</a>


That's tough, Benn Mathurin 💪💪💪 <a href="https://t.co/IiljVBj0dW">pic.twitter.com/IiljVBj0dW</a>

It was enough to get people talking:

8 Points, 9 Seconds @8pts9secs

Bennedict Mathurin is good at basketball.

IG: RodneyRikai @RodneyRikai

Ben Mathurin is going to be a heck of a player in the league.

James Boyd @RomeovilleKid

Bennedict Mathurin showing off the athleticism with an and-one dunk. Looking like a top draft pick. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pacers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Pacers</a>

There was still a lot left to be desired between the poor shooting and finishing minus-17 on the court.

Players on both teams are looking to earn final roster spots before the start of the 2022-23 season, and every performance matters in the eyes of the coaches as they determine who can help the squad.

Most eyes are still on the star youngsters, though, and it's clear Murray and Mathurin both have a lot of potential as they enter their first seasons in the NBA.

The Pacers will return to action Tuesday against Jaden Ivey and the Detroit Pistons. The Kings will face Chet Holmgren and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.