Kings win fourth-straight behind another 130-point effort

Jan 15, 2023, 7:32 PM | Updated: 8:06 pm
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 23: Harrison Barnes #40 of the Sacramento Kings dunks during the first half ...
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings have done most of their damage during the second half over the past week, and Sunday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs wasn’t any different.

After allowing the Spurs to score 64 points on 63 percent shooting from the field during the first half, the Kings locked in over the final 24 minutes of play as they used another incredible offensive performance to secure a 132-119 win at AT&T Center.

With the win, Sacramento (24-18) picked up its fourth-straight win and improved to six games over .500 for the first time since April 18, 2006–the final day of the 2005-06 regular season.

Entering play having lost seven of their past eight games, the Spurs opened up Sunday’s game with a sense of urgency.

Thanks to a solid opening quarter from noted Kings-killer Jakob Poeltl (10 points in the first), San Antonio led by nine points early before Sacramento could string together some successful offensive stretches of their own.

Even with Domantas Sabonis logging his 20th-straight double-double before the end of the first half and Barnes scoring at will for the Kings, the defense continued to act as a point of weakness for Sacramento as the Spurs shot nearly 70 percent from the field during the first two-quarters of play.

The Kings opened up the third quarter trailing 64-63, but that would be the beginning of the end for San Antonio.

As was the case during Sacramento’s recent wins over the Houston Rockets, Sacramento made second-half adjustments on both ends of the floor–especially the defensive end–to take control for good and secure the win.

After allowing the Spurs to shoot 63 percent from the field in the first half, the Kings held San Antonio to just 41 percent shooting during the second half while players like Barnes, Sabonis, De’Aaron Fox, and Davion Mitchell carried the team on the offensive end.

Sacramento was on a tear during the second half as they shot 62 percent from the field while outscoring the Spurs 69-55.

Fox was up to his fourth-quarter heroics once again on Sunday as the guard scored 11 of his 23 points during the fourth quarter. The 25-year-old has scored 10+ points in the fourth quarter in nine of his past 15 games as he continues to prove that he deserves some consideration for this season’s Clutch Player of the Year award.

With Fox taking over in the fourth, Barnes doing most of his damage early, and Sabonis doing a majority of his late work on the boards, the Kings needed someone else to chip in on the offensive end and make a difference in the fourth.

Davion Mitchell answered that bell.

The second-year guard scored nine points during the fourth quarter while also bringing his usual defensive intensity to help extinguish a late Spurs run that trimmed Sacramento’s lead to five points with less than eight minutes remaining.

Mitchell and Fox took over down the stretch, the Kings pushed its lead back to a comfortable margin, and fans in attendance started chanting ‘Light the Beam’ at AT&T Center during the final moments of play to cap off a fun night in San Antonio.

Sunday’s win is notable for a few reasons–more than a few, really, as each win carries immense importance for a Kings team that is on track to break a historic 17-year postseason drought, but the victory is noteworthy for some less-notable storylines.

First, the win marked Sacramento’s fourth-consecutive winning effort, giving the team its second winning streak of four games or more this season.

Second, the Kings improved to 10-9 on the road this season, which places them in a tie with the first-seeded Denver Nuggets and second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies for the best road record in the Western Conference.

Last season, Sacramento went 14-27 away from home.

This team is different, and if the Kings can continue to take care of business away from home, they have a very good chance of finishing the season in a top-six spot in the West. Instead of having an entire season come down to one Play-In game, Sacramento can place its chips on a seven-game series instead.

Over half of the season is in the books, and the Kings are showing no signs of slowing down.

Black Falcon Keeps Soaring

If you’ve read my work before, you have probably read my often-used line: “When Harrison Barnes plays well, the Sacramento Kings play well.”

I’m here to say that again.

Barnes finished Sunday’s game with 29 points on eight-of-11 shooting from the field, four-of-six from three-point land, and nine-of-11 from the free-throw line. The veteran forward has scored 27+ points in back-to-back games and has topped the 16-point mark in eight-straight games.

Sacramento is 9-3 this season when Barnes scores 20+ points.

20-Straight For Domas

Domantas Sabonis cannot be stopped.

The big man finished the night with 18 points, 18 rebounds, and eight assists during the win in what was his 20th-straight double-double performance.

One game removed from a monster 19-point, 15-rebound, 16-assist, triple-double performance, Sabonis became the first player to post back-to-back stat lines with 18+ points, 15+ rebounds, and 8+ assists since…

Domantas Sabonis last season while playing for the Indiana Pacers (January 2022).

It’s been that kind of year for Sabonis, who continues to prove that he belongs in Salt Lake City for next month’s NBA All-Star game.

Sabonis also became just the 3rd player in franchise history with 15-15-5 in straight games, joining DeMarcus Cousins and Chris Webber.

Mitchell Gets The Chain

Davion Mitchell was awarded the Defensive Player of the Game chain for his efforts on Sunday.

Mitchell was active on both ends of the floor during the fourth quarter, as the guard scored nine points while also locking in on defense to finish the period with a 86.7 defensive rating.

The Baylor product finished the night with 19 points on seven-of-eight shooting from the field and four-of-five from three-point land to go along with one steal over twenty minutes of playing time.

Just Keep Scoring

When the Sacramento Kings score, they score in bunches.

The NBA’s number-one scoring team continued to do what it does best on Sunday night as they finished the game with 132 points, marking the fifth-straight game where they scored 130 points or more.

Not only is that a new franchise record, but it’s also the first time an NBA team scored 130+ points in five-straight games since the Denver Nuggets did so during the 1988-89 season.

What we’re seeing from this team isn’t just fun–it’s historic.

Injury Updates

Kevin Huerter (return to competition conditioning) returned to action following a two-game absence that was due to a non-COVID illness.

Next Game

Sacramento will conclude a brief two-game road trip on Wednesday night when they face the Los Angeles Lakers for the final time this season.

With a win over the Lakers, the Kings can claim the four-game season series 3-1, which would award them the tie-breaker if these two teams were to finish with the same record.

Be sure to get all of your Kings vs. Lakers coverage on Sactown Sports 1140 starting at 6:00 pm PST on Game Nightย before action tips off at 7:30 pm PST from downtown Los Angeles.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

Wednesday, January 18thย โ€“ Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers โ€“ 7:30 PM PST

Friday, January 20thย โ€“ Sacramento Kings vs. Oklahoma City Thunder โ€“ 7:00 PM PST

Saturday, January 21stย โ€“ Sacramento Kings vs. Philadelphia 76ers โ€“ 7:00 PM PST

Monday, January 23rdย โ€“ Sacramento Kings vs. Memphis Grizzlies โ€“ 7:00 PM PST

Wednesday, January 25th – Sacramento Kings vs. Toronto Raptors – 7:00 PM PST


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