Fox & Sabonis shine as Kings pick up big win over Clippers

Feb 25, 2024, 9:23 PM | Updated: 9:27 pm

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 22: De'Aaron Fox #5 and Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Ki...

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Entering play on Sunday night, the Los Angeles Clippers had been in complete control of their regular season series against the Sacramento Kings.

Over two previous matchups this season, the Clippers had beaten the Kings twice by an average of 17 points per contest–but this time, Sacramento would be the one on the winning end of things.

De’Aaron Fox delivered his fourth-straight game with 28 or more points, Domantas Sabonis posted a double-double for the 20th time this season (most in the NBA), and the Kings secured a 123-107 in over Los Angeles at Arena.

It was a noteworthy victory for Sacramento (33-23), as they improved to ten games over the .500 mark while jumping back into a top-five spot in the Western Conference standings.

As the Kings put the finishing touches on their winning effort, loud chants of “light the beam” could be heard through the telecast in what was a cherry-on-top ending to a fun night in Los Angeles for the ‘Beam Team.’

Kings vs. Clippers Recap & Takeaways

De’Aaron Fox has been on a roll as of late, and the high-scoring guard carried his hot streak into the start of Sunday’s action in Los Angeles.

Fox acted as the driving force behind a solid first half for Sacramento as the guard scored 16 points, grabbed five rebounds, and passed out four assists over the first half as Sacramento took a 58-51 lead into the break.

The Kings held the Clippers to nine-of-24 (38%) shooting from the field during the second quarter while outscoring them by ten points en route to creating some space following a back-and-forth first half. Sacramento’s offense might have struggled during the first 24 minutes of action, but it was the defense that made a difference before the page turned to the second half.

As soon as the third quarter started, the Kings pressed their foot down on the gas as they started the period with a 10-0 run to push its lead to 17 points.

While it seemed as if Sacramento was on the verge of blowing things open, Los Angeles answered back near the end of the third to trim the deficit to 89-80 with 12 minutes left on the clock.

With the game on the line late, Fox and Malik Monk helped put things away before the Clippers had a chance to form a late-game comeback effort.

Fox, who was playing with an increased sense of passion on Sunday, was the player to stop in this one–and Los Angeles had no answer for the reigning Clutch Player of the Year. ‘Swipa’ scored nine of his game-high 33 points in the fourth to help put things away, while Monk added seven of his 12 points in crunch time to secure the win.

Sacramento has won three straight games, and Fox has been the driving force behind those wins as the guard racked up his fourth-straight 28+ point performance.

Over 33 minutes of play, Fox went 12-of-22 from the field and nine-of-ten from the free throw line while adding six rebounds, seven assists, and swiping three steals to complete an all-around performance from the talented 26-year-old.

The Kings’ offense was dialed in against the Clippers, and Fox, Monk, Sabonis, and Harrison Barnes (22 points) out-gunned a short-handed Los Angeles team that was without Paul George (knee).

Mr. Double (or Triple) Double

Domantas Sabonis continues to stuff the box score at an incredible rate.

The three-time All-Star posted his 39th-straight double-double early in the second half before establishing his league-leading 20th triple-double before the midway point of the third quarter.

Sabonis’ double-double streak is much more impressive when you consider what the second-longest streak in the NBA is this season: reigning MVP Joel Embiid with 17 consecutive double-doubles.

Over 36 minutes of action, Sabonis finished the night with 17 points, 15 rebounds, 12 assists, and three steals in what turned out to be a historic game for the 27-year-old.

Sabonis became just the sixth player in NBA history to post 20+ triple-doubles in a single season:

Figuring Out The Three-Ball

Over Sacramento’s first two matchups against the Clippers this season, the three-ball wasn’t falling as the Kings shot 23-of-78 (29%) during those matchups.

For a team that has lived and died by the three this season, Sacramento would need to turn a corner in their third matchup against Los Angeles–and that’s precisely what happened.

The Kings finished the night 15-of-37 (40%) from deep, while the Clippers–the NBA’s second-best three-point shooting team (39.4%)–shot just eight-of-27 (29%) from beyond the arc.

Sacramento has been locked in from beyond the arc over their past nine games (37%), but proving themselves against Los Angeles was imperative as the Kings seek validation in the Western Conference playoff race. Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray, and Kevin Huerter all knocked down three triples, while Davion Mitchell converted two of his three attempts from downtown during the win.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento will complete the road-home back-to-back on Monday night when they face the Miami Heat at Golden 1 Center.

On January 31st, the Kings dropped a hard-fought contest in South Beach that saw Miami escape with a 115-106 win thanks to 31 points from Jimmy Butler and 24 points off the bench from Josh Richardson.

Keegan Murray racked up 33 points on seven-of-11 shooting from three-point range during the loss.

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

Upcoming Schedule

  • Monday, February 26th – Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, February 28th – Sacramento Kings @ Denver Nuggets – 6:00 PM PST
  • Friday, March 1st – Sacramento Kings @ Minnesota Timberwolves – 5:00 PM PST
  • Monday, March 4th – Sacramento Kings vs. Chicago Bulls – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, March 6th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7:30 PM PST

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