Domantas Sabonis says there’s ‘no time’ for Kings to dwell on loss

Mar 5, 2024, 10:23 AM

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 04: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings leaves the game aft...

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

When Domantas Sabonis checked out near the end of the third quarter of Monday’s game against the Chicago Bulls, his Sacramento held a commanding 85-65 lead with four minutes to go until play entered the fourth.

Once Sabonis and fellow All-NBA talent De’Aaron Fox exited the game for a rare stretch without one of either franchise’s centerpieces on the floor, Chicago pounced.

The Bulls stunned the Kings by mounting a late comeback that saw Sacramento outscored 46-20 during the final 15 minutes of game time en route to a disappointing 113-109 loss at Golden 1 Center.

For the Kings, the loss came at an unideal time as Sacramento (34-26) navigates a chaotic Western Conference playoff race. Instead of pulling within a half-game of the fifth seed, the Kings fell to the seventh seed with 22 games to go in the regular season.

“I don’t know what happened there. I think we were still up 20 with three, four minutes left in the third quarter, and the game kind of got away from us,” Sabonis said of Sacramento’s late-game meltdown. “In crunch time, we couldn’t really score, and DeMar DeRozan and Coby White were just going off. We couldn’t get stops.”

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DeRozan outscored the Kings on his own in the fourth quarter as the veteran forward scored 19 of his 33 points in the final period. Sacramento’s offense hit a brick wall late, as the Kings scored 18 points in the fourth on 30 percent shooting from the field (0/6 from three-point range).

Defense continues to pose a problem for Sacramento as the Bulls got whatever they wanted down the stretch. With DeRozan and Coby White (career-high 37 points) leading the charge, Chicago shot 68 percent from the field in the fourth while the Kings watched a 22-point lead slip through their fingers.

“We tried to make the right reads. We’re trying to make the right reads and sometimes it doesn’t go your way,” Sabonis said of the late-game defense.

The All-Star center struggled to score around the rim during the loss, finishing the night with 18 points on seven-of-19 shooting to go along with 21 rebounds–his 43rd consecutive double-double–before fouling out with 2:57 remaining. Once Sabonis exited, the Bulls ended the night on a 9-1 run to secure the win.

Western Conference Standings Update: Kings slip to 7th

With 22 games remaining, Sacramento doesn’t have time to dwell on a singular loss–not now, anyway. With a matchup on Wednesday night against the ninth-seed Los Angeles Lakers quickly approaching, Sabonis emphasized the importance of turning the page.

“Everyone wanted to get stops and score the ball to win the game for us and it’s a good learning point for us. But at the same time, 22 games left and we just got to… I mean, you can’t really even think about it anymore, there’s no time. We just got to lock in against the Lakers and get this win. It’s a big game for us in the standings.”

A bounce-back win for the Kings would give Sacramento some breathing room over Los Angeles in the standings, while another defeat would bring the Lakers within a half-game of their early 2000s rival.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento will travel to Los Angeles on Wednesday night as they will look to create more space between themselves and the 10th-seed Lakers in the Western Conference standings.

With a win on Wednesday, the Kings can secure the regular season series and all tie-breaker scenarios between themselves and the Lakers. Sacramento has beaten Los Angeles in both matchups this season, with the most recent matchup taking place at Arena on November 15th.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Lakers coverage, beginning at 6:00 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:30 PM PST tip-off from downtown Los Angeles.

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Upcoming Schedule

  • Wednesday, March 6th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7:30 PM PST
  • Thursday, March 7th – Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs – 7:00 PM PST
  • Sunday, March 10th – Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets – 3:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, March 12th – Sacramento Kings vs. Milwaukee Bucks – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, March 13th – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 7:00 PM PST

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