Kings end game on 19-0 run, stun Cavaliers without Fox
Dec 9, 2022, 7:43 PM
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
On Friday night, things were looking bleak for the Sacramento Kings as they trailed the Cleveland Cavaliers by eight points with 4:50 remaining.
Cleveland’s 95-87 lead seemed to put a Kings team that was playing without De’Aaron Fox in an impossible position, as the shots weren’t falling when they needed them most.
As it would turn out, Sacramento didn’t need to get red-hot from the field–they just needed to turn up the defensive intensity.
The Kings’ defense held the Cavs scoreless for the final 4:50 of play as Sacramento used an incredible 19-0 run to steal a 106-95 win at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Sacramento held Cleveland to just 95 points–the least they have allowed in a game this season–while defeating the team that currently owns the best defensive rating in the NBA and the league’s best home record.
Even when things looked rough late, the Kings (14-10) found a way as they picked up an impressive win over a talented Cavs team.
Keegan's sixth 3-pointer of the night is a beauty pic.twitter.com/18ngsdYwT5
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) December 10, 2022
Defense is the main takeaway from this one, as players like Domantas Sabonis and Davion Mitchell came up huge down the final stretch to lock down the Cleveland offense.
Sabonis, who posted his league-leading 16th double-double of the season, finished the night with three steals and two blocked shots during the win, but the big man acted as a disrupter in the paint and contributed on countless possessions that won’t show up in the box score.
Contesting at the rim, boxing out to grab 18 rebounds, staying straight up on defense, and baiting All-Star center Jarrett Allen into foul trouble (five personal fouls)–Sabonis was integral to turning this game from a disappointing loss into an exciting victory.
With Sabonis acting as an anchor in the paint, the Kings were able to shake off a rough second and third quarter as Sacramento went on to outscore Cleveland 27-15 in the fourth quarter while holding the Cavs to 29 percent shooting from the field.
The Kings have won most of their games this season by dropping the hammer on the offensive end, but Friday night’s win can be attributed to hard-nose, shut-down defense, and that’s a beautiful sight for a team that has struggled defensively for most of the past two decades.
Domantas Sabonis is just a double-double machine.
The 26-year-old finished the night with 18 points, 18 rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocked shots over 37 minutes of action. Sabonis has arguably been Sacramento’s MVP thus far this season, as his case for an All-Star appearance during the NBA All-Star game in February gets more robust with each passing game.
Sabonis became only the fourth player in Kings franchise history to post 18+ PTS, 18+ REB, 6+ AST, 3+ STL, and 2+ BLK in a single game. The other players? You might have heard of them:
- Chris Webber (twice)
- DeMarcus Cousins
- Sam Lacey
Another incredible performance for Sacramento’s franchise center.
What a find by Domas to Davion! pic.twitter.com/aKj2LTf05Y
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) December 10, 2022
Keegan Murray might have made a run at topping his career-high if it weren’t for some questionable whistles that put him into foul trouble early.
Murray found his stroke from beyond the arc as the rookie forward finished the night with 18 points on a career-high six-of-eight shooting from three-point land. Over his past six games, Murray has scored in double-figures while appearing much more comfortable on the floor.
- Harrison Barnes has flipped a switch over the past two weeks, as the veteran forward has topped the 20-point mark in three of his past five games. Barnes led the Kings with 20 points on five-of-nine shooting from the field during Friday’s win.
- Kevin Huerter left the game during the third quarter with a shoulder injury, but ‘Red Velvet’ returned during the fourth quarter and came up big down the final stretch. Huerter led Sacramento with six points in the fourth quarter, finishing the night with 19 points, five boards and three steals.
- Sacramento’s defense might have been a huge positive on Friday, but the offense carried its weight, as usual. The Kings shot 53 percent from the field and a blistering 48 percent from three-point range after shooting 30 percent from deep during the previous two appearances.
De’Aaron Fox missed Friday night’s game due to right foot soreness and is considered day-to-day, per Mike Brown.
Fox has clearly been in discomfort over the past two weeks as he has dealt with a bruised foot, injured thumb, and lingering non-COVID illness. Some downtime would do the 24-year-old some good, especially before the Kings play four games over six nights next week.
Terence Davis (low back soreness) missed his third-straight game. He is also considered day-to-day.
Kevin Huerter exited Friday’s game due to a shoulder injury late in the third quarter. The guard returned to action during the fourth quarter and finished the game.
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Sacramento will continue its six-game road trip on Sunday afternoon when they head to Madison Square Garden for a matchup against the New York Knicks.
Get all of your Kings vs. Cavs coverage on Sactown Sports 1140 starting at 1:30 pm PST on Game Night before action tips off at 3:00 pm PST from The Big Apple.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
Sunday, December 11th – Sacramento Kings @ New York Knicks – 3:00 PM PST
Tuesday December 13th – Sacramento Kings @ Philadelphia 76ers – 4:30 PM PST
Wednesday, December 14th – Sacramento Kings @ Toronto Raptors – 4:30 PM PST
Friday, December 16th – Sacramento Kings @ Detroit Pistons – 4:00 PM PST
Monday, December 19th – Sacramento Kings vs Charlotte Hornets – 7:00 PM PST