‘Not again’: Domantas Sabonis on the Kings’ late-game heroics

Mar 8, 2024, 9:52 AM | Updated: 9:57 am

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 07: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings reacts after a slam...

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

It’s never easy for the 2023-24 Sacramento Kings, and Thursday’s matchup against the Victor Wembanyama-less San Antonio Spurs wouldn’t be any different.

The Kings appeared well on their way to another disappointing loss as the Spurs took a 129-124 lead with 57 seconds to go. Once De’Aaron Fox, who scored 17 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, picked up his sixth foul with under a minute to go, a loss seemed inevitable.

As some fans in attendance at Golden 1 Center made their way toward the exits, Harrison Barnes and Malik Monk delivered a quick 5-0 run that injected a shot of adrenaline into the building and evened the score at 129-129.

With 23 seconds to go, the game took one final turn.

San Antonio had a chance to hang onto the ball and take the final shot, but Keon Ellis’s on-ball pressure, paired with anticipation defense from Domantas Sabonis on a pass attempt by Spurs guard Malaki Branham, forced a turnover that handed the Kings the game on a silver platter.

Sabonis tipped the pass into the open court and delivered a game-sealing jam, helping Sacramento avoid another letdown loss at home.

“It looked pretty ugly there with a minute left, and I was like, ‘Ugh, not again,’” Sabonis said of the late-game drama. Once the three-time All-Star got the ball in his hands, his thought process was simple:

“Just hurry up and dunk it,” Sabonis said with a laugh when asked what he was thinking once he got the ball. “I was scared [Malaki Branham] was going to come from behind and try and contest.”

Sabonis posted his 45th consecutive double-double during the win, scoring 31 points (14-of-19 shooting), 17 rebounds, nine assists, and one crucial steal during his 38 minutes of action.

More from Domantas Sabonis on the Kings’ win over the Spurs

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When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento will continue its six-game homestand on Sunday afternoon with a matinee showing against the Houston Rockets.

If the Kings want to keep pace in the competitive Western Conference, they’ll have to redeem themselves against a Houston team that has had their number in 2023-24.

The Rockets dominated the Kings in two early-season matchups at Toyota Center, winning by an average of 21.5 points per contest while holding Sacramento to just 93.0 points (on 41/30/64 shooting splits) during two wins.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Rockets coverage, beginning at 1:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 3:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

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Upcoming Schedule

  • Sunday, March 10th – Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets – 3:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, March 12th – Sacramento Kings vs. Milwaukee Bucks – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, March 13th – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 7:00 PM PST
  • Saturday, March 16th – Sacramento Kings vs. New York Knicks – 7:00 PM PST
  • Monday, March 18th – Sacramento Kings vs. Memphis Grizzlies – 7:00 PM PST

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