SACRAMENTO KINGS

Cavs catch fire from beyond the arc as Kings drop road trip finale

Feb 5, 2024, 6:35 PM | Updated: 6:39 pm

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 05: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles the ball to the bas...

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t known for their three-point shooting, but you wouldn’t know it from watching Monday’s game.

It was an unceremonious ending to the Sacramento Kings’ two-week, seven-game road trip as the Cavs lit up the scoreboard with a season-high 23 made three-point field goals during a 136-110 win at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio.

Sacramento entered play having won six of their past seven games, but a meeting against the hottest team in the NBA would act as a disappointing end to what was an overall very successful road trip. After winning on Monday night, the Cavs (32-16) improved to 14-1 over their past 15 contests.

The Kings (29-20) will finally head home after posting a 5-2 record on the trip, as the Beam Team will return to Golden 1 Center on Wednesday night for a matchup against the NBA-worst Detroit Pistons.

Then, all eyes will be on Thursday’s 12:00 PM PST trade deadline as teams around the NBA will evaluate their rosters for the playoff push.

Kings vs. Cavs Recap & Takeaways

While Cleveland entered play in possession of the NBA’s second-best defensive rating, the first half of Kings vs. Cavaliers brought plenty of offense to set the tone early.

As we have seen from several other teams this season, Cleveland took advantage of a sluggish Sacramento defense by attacking the Kings from a vulnerable place: the perimeter.

The Cavs, who average 13.2 made three-point field goals per game this season, topped that mark during the first half by going 13-of-22 (59%) from downtown. With All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell leading the way (19 first-half points), Cleveland nearly got whatever it wanted against a Kings’ defense that resembled a revolving door.

Domantas Sabonis’ impressive first-half performance (8 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) and 13 points from Harrison Barnes helped keep Sacramento within 15 points at the break, but the Kings would have plenty of work to do if they were to mount a comeback effort against a red-hot Cavs offense.

The Kings made several runs to trim Cleveland’s lead, but the Cavs answered each time thanks to their impressive night from three-point land.

Monday’s loss differed from what we usually see during a blowout defeat. Sacramento’s offense, specifically their three-point shooting, has typically been the main factor in losses.

In Cleveland, it wasn’t about the Kings’ offense but rather the fact that they had no answer for a relentless Cavaliers offense that refused to let up from beyond the arc.

Opposing teams erupting on offense isn’t new to Sacramento, which is undoubtedly a problem that will need to be addressed at some point this season–whether that be internally or externally via Thursday’s trade deadline, changes are needed to ensure that the Kings are better equipped to halt those runs.

Between Mitchell and Max Sturs, Sacramento had no answer as the Cavs continued to drill triple after triple.

Even on a night that the Kings shot 46 percent from the field and 38 percent from three, it wasn’t enough as Cleveland poured it on in the fourth.

The scoreboard might reflect one story, but Sacramento didn’t get pummeled throughout the 48-minute duration of Monday’s action. During the fourth, the Kings chipped the deficit to ten points, but Mitchell and the Cavs would not be denied as they would not repeat last year’s meltdown that also took place at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

There would be no five-minute period without a basket this time and no furious run to end the night as Sacramento went quietly during crunch time.

Cleveland finished the night 23-of-41 (56%) from three-point land while also outscoring the Kings in the paint 48-40 on 24-of-42 (57%) shooting inside of the key against Sacramento’s weak interior defense.

A loss is a loss, but a 5-2 road trip shouldn’t be scoffed at. The Kings’ schedule gets complicated in the coming weeks as they will face the Denver Nuggets (three times), Phoenix Suns, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, and Minnesota Timberwolves over their next ten games.

Sacramento is coming home, and Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons might not be a “must-win” game, but the Kings will really want to get another tally in the ‘W’ column before entering a brutal stretch against fellow Western Conference playoff contenders.

Sabonis’ Streak Continues

It didn’t take long for Domantas Sabonis to tally his 32nd-straight double-double.

The three-time All-Star posted his league-leading 45th double-double of the season before the halftime break–a feat that was made possible by a historic opening quarter.

According to Stathead, Sabonis’ nine-rebound, eight-assists first period was the first of its kind since the NBA began tracking by-quarter statistics in 1996-97.

Sabonis finished the night with another triple-double effort, scoring 12 points, grabbing 19 rebounds, and handing out 15 assists over 34 minutes, becoming just the seventh player in NBA history to post 10-19-15 in a single game.

It was the 15th triple-double of the season for Sabonis, who tied two-time MVP Nikola Jokic for the NBA lead.

Notes

  • Harrison Barnes continues to perform well in his expanded role within the offense. Barnes has scored 20+ points in five of the past eight games: 22 PTS | 8/15 FG | 6/10 3PT | 30 MIN
  • De’Aaron Fox struggled during the loss: 19 PTS | 8/20 FG | 3/9 3PT | STL

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

At long last, the Kings are coming home.

Following a season-long, two-week, seven-game road trip, Sacramento will return to Golden 1 Center on Wednesday night for a showdown against the NBA-worst Detroit Pistons (6-43).

On January 9th, the Kings overcame an early 20-point deficit to beat the Pistons by a final of 131-110 after outscoring Detroit by 39 points during the final three quarters.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Pistons coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

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Upcoming Schedule

  • Wednesday, February 7th – Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons – 7:00 PM PST
  • Friday, February 9th – Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – 7:00 PM PST
  • Sunday, February 11th – Sacramento Kings @ Oklahoma City Thunder – 12:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, February 13th – Sacramento Kings @ Phoenix Suns – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, February 14th – Sacramento Kings @ Denver Nuggets – 6:00 PM PST
  • NBA All-Star break – February 15-21

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Cavs catch fire from beyond the arc as Kings drop road trip finale