SACRAMENTO KINGS

Fox, Monk deliver late to lead Kings past Lakers in OT thriller

Oct 29, 2023, 9:03 PM | Updated: 10:11 pm

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 29: Malik Monk #0 of the Sacramento Kings gathers a rebound in the...

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

You could hear a pin drop inside  Golden 1 Center on Sunday night as the Sacramento Kings gathered around De’Aaron Fox under the basket.

Fox, who took a bad step and twisted his right ankle on his way to the basket, stood up and walked to the locker room under his own strength as a sold-out crowd in attendance applauded its All-Star guard.

Moments later, Fox returned to the scores table as fans in attendance delivered a roar that could have been measured on a Richter scale.

Fox returned to action, and without his 13-point fourth quarter, it’s hard to envision the Kings coming out on top over the Los Angeles Lakers. Thanks to Fox and Malik Monk’s late heroics, Sacramento pulled out a thrilling 132-127 overtime win in another classic matchup between these old rivals.

The Kentucky duo joined forces once again in the crunch to outlast big nights from Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Fox & Monk Close It Out

De’Aaron Fox did everything he could to bring Sacramento back from a late double-digit deficit during Friday’s loss to Golden State as the All-Star scored 22 points during the fourth quarter.

The reigning Clutch Player of the Year picked up right where he left off during Sunday’s game against the Lakers, scoring 13 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter to give Sacramento a chance to pick up the win.

After Domantas Sabonis fouled out with three minutes remaining, Fox–who was visibly limping while away from the ball–continued to attack the basket and hit clutch shots before play entered overtime.

Although Fox attempted to finish the game, he was subbed out and headed back to the locker room after 90 seconds of action in overtime.

With Fox sidelined, Malik Monk stepped in and took over as Sacramento’s closer when the Kings needed him most.

No Fox, no Sabonis, no problem for Monk, who nearly matched Los Angeles’ scoring output (12 points) in the extra period. Monk scored 11 of his 22 points in overtime to help lock up the victory for the Kings.

“Malik was huge,” Keegan Murray said of Sacramento’s Sixth Man. “We don’t win this game without his play, especially in overtime. He made every big play.”

Monk, who has shown he possesses the ability to run the offense, set the table in overtime with Fox sidelined. The last of Monk’s three assists came on the game-sealing play of the night–a pass to Kevin Huerter, who drilled a clutch triple to seal the win for the Kings.

Speaking of Huerter…

Kevin Huerter Bounces Back

Entering play on Sunday, Huerter had converted just one of his ten attempts from three-point land on the heels of a rough preseason (22% 3PT over five games).

Instead of moving Huerter out of the starting lineup against Los Angeles, head coach Mike Brown kept his longtime starting two-guard on the floor down the final stretch, and that move paid off in a big way.

Huerter’s late triple sealed the win for the Kings, and you could see the pressure drop from the guard’s shoulders as he raised his arms to the sky following the bucket.

The veteran finished the night with 12 points on three-of-seven shooting from beyond the arc to go along with seven rebounds and four assists over 36 minutes.

Huerter, who has also received criticism for his shortcomings on the defensive end, picked up two blocks–one coming on Anthony Davis late in the fourth quarter–en route to claiming the Defensive Player of the Game chain and being the first member of the team to light the beam at Golden 1 Center following a game this season.

“I thought Kevin had a hell of a game,” Mike Brown said of Huerter’s efforts postgame. “He had seven rebounds and two big blocks. He got his blocks the right way.”

Brown elaborated on the reduced minutes for Huerter during the first two games of the season, stating that the defense is critical in determining who will be on the floor late.

“We always know that Kevin can shoot the ball. This has never been about him shooting the ball,” Brown said. Where he needs to lock in, and not just him, everybody needs to lock in on the defensive end of the floor… It’s hard because we feel like we have a lot of guys that can play. It’s healthy competition for him.”

Sasha Continues To Impress

The reigning EuroLeague MVP continued his impressive first week in the NBA, and this time, Sasha Vezenkov wasn’t just impressing on one end of the floor.

Vezenkov was engaged on the defensive end against Los Angeles and quickly asserted himself early by picking up his first NBA block in the first quarter.

On the offensive end, Vezenkov continued to impress with his sneaky off-ball movement and quick release from beyond the arc as the forward finished with 11 points on four-of-ten shooting while pulling down four rebounds over 18 minutes of action.

Notes

Keegan Murray was a force in the second half as the sophomore scored all 17 of his points after the halftime break. Murray missed a game-winning attempt at the buzzer, but the forward joked that he would try to make up for the miss later this season.

Domantas Sabonis posted his third-straight double-double before fouling out during the closing minutes of the fourth quarter: 12 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists on five-of-eight shooting over 34 minutes.

The Lakers shot an eye-popping 34 free throws on Sunday. Here’s what Mike Brown had to say about his team’s defense:

We can play better. We still have to understand that in certain instances, physicality doesn’t mean reaching at the last second… 34 free throws were a lot, and that’s what kept them in the game.”

Mike Brown on the Kings’ defense vs. the Lakers

LeBron James made his return to Sacramento on the 20th anniversary of his NBA debut, and the legend made history with teammate Anthony Davis–but not the kind of history that Lakers fans will be happy about.

Injury Report

De’Aaron Fox exited the game in overtime after initially refusing to leave the floor, and while Mike Brown said he had no update on the guard’s status during his postgame press conference, he will likely undergo testing on his ankle to determine the severity of the injury.

More information on Fox will become available before Sacramento faces the Warriors on Wednesday in San Francisco.

Trey Lyles (calf) missed his third-straight game as he works his way back from a left calf strain.

Sacramento is taking a cautious approach with the forward, but it’s unlikely that Lyles will be sidelined for an extended period.

When is the next Sacramento Kings Game?

Did somebody ask for more Kings vs. Warriors?

For what seems like the 100th time over the past 101 games, Sacramento and Golden State will meet once again on Wednesday night–the second time over the first four games of the regular season.

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

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

  • Wednesday, November 1st – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
  • Saturday, November 4th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5 PM PST
  • Monday, November 6th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 8th – Sacramento Kings vs. Portland Trail Blazers – 7 PM PST
  • Friday, November 10th – Sacramento Kings vs. Oklahoma City Thunder** – 7 PM PST

** NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play

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