Fox, Sabonis put on All-Star performances during win over Spurs

Feb 1, 2023, 8:03 PM | Updated: 8:30 pm
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 20: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles the ball up c...
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

In what was the final game before NBA All-Star rosters are revealed, De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis gave a stern reminder of why both deserve to have their names called on Thursday night.

Fox and Sabonis combined to score 65 points on 28-of-43 shooting (65%) from the field as both stars collected double-doubles during a 119-109 win over the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center on Wednesday evening.

The pair became the first Kings duo to combine to post multiple 30-point double-doubles in the same game multiple times in the same season since Hall of Fame inductees Jerry Lucas and Oscar Robertson did so during the 1967-68 season.

With the win, Sacramento secured its 29th victory of the season and pulled to within one game of matching last year’s win total with 32 games remaining. The Kings also improved to 13-10 on the road–the best away record in the Western Conference.

Sabonis and Fox put on a show during the first half, as the duo combined for 36 of Sacramento’s 61 first-half points.

The Kings shot 57 percent from the field during the first half, with Sabonis’ 21 points (the most points the center has scored in a single half with Sacramento) on nine-of-12 shooting from the field leading the way.

For the second-straight game, Fox started things off with a bang as the hopeful first-time All-Star scored 15 points during 17 minutes of action in the first half as the Kings took a seven-point lead into the break.

The first half of Wednesday’s game also included a highlight reel alley-oop from Fox to college teammate Malik Monk that will get plenty of run on this year’s top plays of the season.

Although Sacramento’s three-point woes continued during the first two quarters (15%), the Kings controlled the paint and set themselves up for a win with or without the long ball.

Sabonis was a large part behind the paint attack on Wednesday night as the big man eclipsed his season-high (31) during the mid-point of the third quarter. With Sabonis controlling the paint and three-point shooting nowhere to be found, Sacramento continued to find its big man during the third as the Kings took an 89-84 lead into the fourth.

If you’ve been watching Kings games this season, you know what comes next:

Fourth Quarter Fox.

De’Aaron Fox continued to prove why he deserves to take home this season’s Jerry West Clutch Award as the guard poured in 10 of his 31 points during the fourth quarter. Fox was joined by Monk, who also scored 10 points in the final period as Sacramento was able to pull away from the Spurs thanks to a 12-5 run during the closing minutes of regulation.

Fox and Sabonis were the stars of the night, as the duo added to their All-Star resumes with monster outings against San Antonio.

Fox finished with his seventh double-double of the season during the win, as the 25-year-old also dished out 10 assists (one turnover), swiped three steals, and blocked one shot. The speedy guard scored 10+ points in the fourth quarter for the 16th time this season, tying LeBron James and DeMar DeRozan for the most 10+ point fourth quarters this season.

Mr. Double-Double himself continued to make the game of basketball look easy on Wednesday as Sabonis collected his league-leading 39th double-double of the season. The big man scored a season-high 34 points on an incredible 15-of-20 shooting performance to go along with 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks.

Sabonis was a force in the paint against a weak Spurs frontline, as the big man shot 14-of-18 (77%) inside of the key and scored 28 of his 34 points around the rim.

Because of Sabonis’ dominant performance, Sacramento posted a new season-high for points in the paint (74), which came at an ideal time considering the team’s struggles from beyond the arc.

After shooting just 30 percent from deep during the first two games of the road trip, the Kings regressed even further on Wednesday as they finished the night eight-of-27 (29%) from three-point land. Keegan Murray and Kevin Huerter combined to shoot just one-of-nine from deep, but that didn’t matter in the end for Sacramento.

Even on a night where a weak San Antonio offense was able to find success against an even weaker Kings defense, Sacramento was able to use its star power in Fox and Sabonis to push them to victory.

If you needed more proof that these two belong in Salt Lake City for the All-Star Game, you’ve been served.

Is Malik Back?

Malik Monk had been going through a brutal stretch of play in December and January, as the bench spark plug shot just 35 percent from the field and 24 percent from deep during a 15-game period.

Then, the road trip started.

On the heels of a much-needed 19-point outing against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, Monk came up big again in this one as the guard scored 22 points on eight-of-13 shooting from the field (two-of-three from deep) while handing out five assists and swiping three steals over 33 minutes.

Monk has been playing with notable confidence during the start of this seven-game road trip, something that was evident during his reverse oop during Wednesday’s game and even more apparent on a missed hammer-jam attempt during the fourth quarter.

If Monk had finished the dunk, the game might have had to shut down.

Over three games to begin the trip, Monk is averaging 18.0 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.0 steals per game while shooting 66 percent from the field and 55 percent from beyond the three-point line.

With starting guard Kevin Huerter currently going through another cold spell (20% from deep to start the trip), Monk is heating up at the right time.

Monk also received the first Defensive Player of the Game chain due to his impact on the defensive end.

All-Star Thursday

The next time that Kings fans watch Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox, both could be recently named NBA All-Stars.

During Thursday evening’s broadcast of TNT’s Inside The NBA, the reserves for the NBA All-Star Game will be revealed. Sabonis is expected to secure his third All-Star appearance, while Fox’s status is currently up in the air–although our very own Carmichael Dave has been hearing from league sources that Fox will make the roster.

Six writers from revealed their picks for All-Star reserves this week, with five of those writers picking Fox as one of their seven reserves. Each conference will be able to select two guards, three front-court players, and two wild cards to its roster.

All 30 NBA head coaches voted on reserves, which is a different process than the All-Star starter’s vote–one that is expected to largely benefit Sabonis and Fox.

You can watch Shaq, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith announce the All-Star reserves on TNT at 4:00 PM PST on Thursday afternoon.

Sacramento Kings Postgame Show

Check out our Sactown Sports Kings Recap Show on the Sactown Sports 1140 YouTube channel!

Sactown Sports Kings Recap Shows will be happening all season long, immediately following each Kings game!

Next Game

Domantas Sabonis will make his return to Indiana on Friday afternoon when the Kings face the Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Sacramento will also come face-to-face with old friend Tyrese Haliburton for the second time since last February’s blockbuster deal that brought Sabonis to the 916. After missing ten games due to elbow and knee injuries, Haliburton is expected to be active for Friday’s game.

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs. Pacers coverage on Sactown Sports 1140 starting at 2:30 pm PST on Game Night before action tips off at 4:00 pm PST.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

Friday, February 3rd – Sacramento Kings @ Indiana Pacers – 4:00 PM PST

Sunday, February 5th – Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans – 5:00 PM PST

Monday, February 6th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5:00 PM PST

Wednesday, February 8th – Sacramento Kings @ Houston Rockets – 5:00 PM PST

Friday, February 10th – Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks – 7:00 PM PST


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Fox, Sabonis put on All-Star performances during win over Spurs