Sabonis extends double-double streak as Kings dominate Raptors

Mar 20, 2024, 6:54 PM | Updated: 7:11 pm

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 20: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings battles for a rebound against ...

(Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

It’s no secret that the Sacramento Kings have struggled with shorthanded–and often sub-500–teams this season.

Matched up against a Toronto Raptors team that entered Wednesday night without four starters and in possession of the Eastern Conference’s fourth-worst record, the playoff-hopeful Kings didn’t mess around in this one.

Sacramento used a group effort from its offense and another impressive showing from its defense during a dominant 123-89 win at Scotiabank Arena.

The Kings (40-28) gave themselves a much-needed laugher following two close, hard-fought games against the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies in what was their third 30-point win of the season.

With 14 games remaining, every game is important–even games against sub-500, shorthanded teams like the Raptors. Sacramento is currently in possession of the sixth-and-final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and if they want to keep things that way, they will need to continue taking care of business against losing teams.

If Wednesday’s showing was an indicator of what is to come against the NBA-worst Washington Wizards on Thursday, the Kings should hit the ground running in the nation’s capital.

Kings vs. Raptors Recap & Takeaways

Following a rough defensive showing in the first quarter that saw Toronto shoot 50 percent from the field, Sacramento flipped a switch before the halftime break to create some space.

With the Kentucky twosome of De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk (15 first-half points apiece) locked in early and Domantas Sabonis’ 12 first-half boards (four on the offensive end) giving the Raptors fits, things got out of hand quickly as the Kings ended the second quarter on an 11-0 run to push its lead to 68-45.

A red-hot Sacramento offense shot 14-of-26 (54%) from the field during the second period, but an uptick in aggression on the defensive end put Toronto in a deep hole. The Raptors converted just seven of their 23 attempts (30%) from the field while the Kings took control of the game.

While Fox and Monk carried the load on offense, they got help from Chris Duarte, who followed up his eight-point showing on Monday against Memphis with seven points and four boards over ten first-half minutes.

Sacramento has struggled to create separation against sub-500 teams this season, but with the season in its final weeks and the playoffs quickly approaching, the Kings played with a sense of energy and purpose as if they intended on coasting to an easy finish in Toronto.

Once the second half started, Sacramento went for the kill.

The Kings immediately pushed its lead over the 20-point mark and didn’t stop there, as they led by as many as 38 points during the third quarter en route to taking a 99-65 lead into the fourth quarter.

Sacramento’s bench would take things home in the fourth quarter, with players like Kessler Edwards and rookie Colby Jones getting some run as the Kings opened up the first night of a back-to-back with a stress-free, blowout win in Canada.

Although Sacramento went cold late from three and finished the night 12-of-41 (29%), the Kings handed out 32 assists, won the battle of the boards 54-31, and beat the Raptors 36-20 in fastbreak points.

Five players finished in double-figures for Sacramento, including Harrison Barnes (16 points), who has has scored 10+ points in five-straight games–his longest such streak since late December.

Chris Duarte added 14 points and five rebounds off the bench, while Keegan Murray added 10 points and eight boards over 31 minutes to round-out a complete effort from the Beam Team.

Sabonis’ Streak Continues

Domantas Sabonis’ 2023-24 season will be remembered in Kingsland for a very long time.

Sabonis continued his impressive double-double streak on Wednesday, tying Hall of Fame big man Moses Malone for the second-most since the NBA-ABA merger (1976-77) with his 51st consecutive double-double.

The three-time All-Star also posted his NBA-leading 24th triple-double of the season during a 13-point, 17-rebound, and 10-assist outing also that included one blocked shot over 28 minutes.

Another important stat for Sabonis: Just one turnover.

Only three players in NBA history have racked up 63+ double-doubles and 23+ triple-doubles in the same season:

  • Oscar Robertson (2x) – 1961-62 & 1963-64
  • Wilt Chamberlain – 1967-68
  • Domantas Sabonis – 2023-24

Sabonis is the first player in over 50 years to reach these marks, yet he wasn’t an NBA All-Star in February. It doesn’t make sense, and it probably never will–but the 27-year-old and his teammates have their eyes set on something bigger:

Playoff basketball.

Notes & Stats

De’Aaron Fox extended his steal streak to 14 consecutive games, the longest active steal streak in the NBA, while adding 20 points and five assists over 28 minutes.

Malik Monk continued his push for Sixth Man of the Year, scoring 17 points over just 20 minutes of action.

One game removed from swatting five shots, Keon Ellis swiped four steals and blocked one shot in a starting role.

Sacramento scored 33 points off of 22 Toronto turnovers.

The Kings have held their opponents to 112 points or less in five-straight games (longest streak since 2017-18, 13 games).

Toronto’s 89-point outing was the least amount of points that Sacramento has allowed in a game this season.

Injury Updates

Kevin Huerter did not play on Wednesday due to a left shoulder dislocation and is currently without a timetable for a return. Huerter did not travel with the team for the three-game trip.

Last week, the Kings announced that forward Trey Lyles had suffered an MCL sprain in his left knee and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. With Lyles out, Sacramento will likely lean on Chris Duarte, Keon Ellis, and Kessler Edwards until the 28-year-old can return to action.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento will play the second game of a back-to-back on Thursday afternoon when they face the NBA-worst Washington Wizards (11-58) at Capital One Arena.

On December 18th, three Kings players scored 25+ points during a 143-131 win over Washington at Golden 1 Center, with Domantas Sabonis’ triple-double performance (28 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists) leading the way.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Wizards coverage, beginning at 2:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 4:00 PM PST tip-off from Washington D.C.

YouTube video

Upcoming Schedule

  • Thursday, March 21st – Sacramento Kings @ Washington Wizards – 4:00 PM PST
  • Saturday, March 23rd – Sacramento Kings @ Orlando Magic – 4:00 PM PST
  • Monday, March 25th – Sacramento Kings vs. Philadelphia 76ers – 7:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, March 26th – Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks – 7:00 PM PST
  • Friday, March 29th – Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks – 7:00 PM PST

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