SACRAMENTO KINGS

Sabonis makes history as Kings coast past 76ers

Mar 25, 2024, 9:49 PM | Updated: 10:14 pm

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 29: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings reacts after a th...

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

As the 2023-24 regular season enters its final stretch, the Sacramento Kings opened up a crucial homestand with a meaningful win on Monday night.

The Kings’ 108-96 win over the Philadelphia 76ers was important for a few reasons, with none more significant than the fact that Sacramento’s victory, paired with the Phoenix Suns’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs, put them back in the sixth and final spot in the Western Conference standings with 11 games to go.

Another aspect of the Kings’ win was that they finally defeated the 76ers, with Sacramento snapping a ten-game head-to-head losing streak that dated back to March 2019.

The five-game homestand got off to a strong start for the Kings (42-29), who secured their fourth win over their past five games while improving to a season-high 13 games over the .500 mark.

All-NBA center Domantas Sabonis made history during the win by breaking Kevin Love’s post-NBA-ABA merger (1976-77) record with his 54th consecutive double-double on a special night at Golden1 Center.

Sacramento will now look ahead to Tuesday’s highly anticipated matchup against the Dallas Mavericks, a team they currently share the sixth-seed spot with and will play twice this week on their home floor.

Let the fun begin.

Kings vs. 76ers Recap & Takeaways

The start to Monday’s action felt more like a one-on-one game than five-on-five.

Sacramento quickly jumped out to a 13-5 run during the opening minutes of the first quarter, but Philadelphia guard Tyrese Maxey put his team on his back by scoring the 76ers’ first 16 points to put his team back in front.

Following a 22-point outing on Saturday—his first since the end of February—Keegan Murray was the Kings’ go-to option early. The forward scored 17 points (six of eight shooting) during the first quarter, giving himself the second-highest scoring period of his career, only trailing his 26-point third quarter on December 16th against Utah.

Once the first quarter came to a close, Maxey (21 points) was the lone Philadelphia starter to score, while Murray’s 17 points accounted for over half of Sacramento’s 31 points as the Kings took a slim lead into the second.

A sluggish start to the second period–both because of poor offense and game stoppage due to multiple reviews–resulted in the 76ers continuing to keep things close, but Sacramento ended the half on a high note and created separation thanks to a 20-10 run over the final five minutes of the half.

Aside from Murray’s big start, Davion Mitchell’s ten-point second quarter and De’Aaron Fox’s emergence on offense helped put the Kings up 60-48 with 24 minutes remaining in regulation.

The game began to get away from Philadelphia in the third quarter as Sacramento pushed its lead to 18 points midway through the period.

Domantas Sabonis’ record-breaking 54th consecutive double-double was the highlight of the third quarter (more on that later), and Golden 1 Center was buzzing as the Kings took an 83-68 lead into the fourth.

While Sacramento’s offense was far from its A-game, the Kings’ improved defense acted as a difference-maker. Outside of Maxey’s big night, no other member of the 76ers offense could find a rhythm against a swarming Sacramento defense that entered play with the NBA’s top defensive rating since March 12th.

Maxey’s 29-point outing was Philadelphia’s lone bright spot on a night that saw no other 76ers player finish with more than 12 points.

The Kings weren’t much better on their end of the floor, shooting just 26 percent from three-point range, but it didn’t matter. Sacramento held the 76ers to 41 percent shooting from the field and 32 percent from three-point range en route to holding another opponent under the 100-point mark–the Kings’ fourth occurrence over the past eight games.

Sacramento is heating up at the right time. With Monday’s win in the bag, the Kings have won eight of their past 11 games while improving to a season-high 13 games over the .500 mark.

Monday’s win also secured the franchise’s tenth winning season during its 39 years in Sacramento–eight seasons under Hall of Fame coach Rich Adelman (1998-2006) and two under reigning Coach of the Year winner Mike Brown (2022-present).

The ‘Basketball Hell’ nickname applies less to Sacramento Kings basketball with each passing year, and that speaks to the winning style of play that Brown, his staff, and his players have implemented.

A Record-Setting Night for Sabonis

Domantas Sabonis has done it.

Sabonis established a new modern-day double-double streak record on Monday, posting his 54th consecutive double-double to surpass Kevin Love’s post-NBA-ABA merger record of 53 games.

Love racked up 53 straight double-doubles during the 2010-11 season while playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but Sabonis’ 11-point, 13-rebound, 10-assist effort put the three-time All-Star in rare–and elite–company.

Sabonis is the seventh player in NBA history to post a double-double streak of 54 or more games, joining Wilt Chamberlain (5x), Elvin Hayes (3x), Walt Bellamy, Elgin Baylor, Jerry Lucas, and Bill Russell.

What do all of those notable names have in common? They are all members of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

“Shoutout to Domas. What a phenomenal year he’s had,” head coach Mike Brown said of his center. “Obviously, he should’ve been an All-Star. He should be discussed for a first, second, or third All-NBA [team]. And he should even be in the MVP discussion.”

The veteran center made history in style with his league-leading 25th triple-double of the season, as Sabonis also became the fifth player in NBA history with 25+ triple-doubles in a single season, joining Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Russell Westbrook, and Nikola Jokic.

Sabonis’ historic 2023-24 season got its cherry-on-top addition on Monday, and with 12 games to go, he will only look to add to his streak as the Kings continue to push for the postseason.

Notes

  • Davion Mitchell was huge off the bench during the win, scoring 18 points (season-high) on six-of-nine shooting over 24 minutes.
  • Keegan Murray posted 20+ points for the second-straight game, finishing with 23 points over 37 minutes. Murray has scored 20+ points in consecutive games for the first time since February 26-28th.
  • De’Aaron Fox added 23 points, eight boards, and five assists over 36 minutes.
  • Sacramento is 15-4 (.789) this season when holding opponents under 110 points.
  • Domantas Sabonis is two triple-doubles away from tying Larry Bird (59) for tenth on the all-time triple-doubles list.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento will enter a pivotal two-game stretch–both against the Dallas Mavericks at Golden 1 Center–that will begin on Tuesday night in front of a national audience on TNT.

The Kings hold a 2-0 record against Dallas this season, with both wins coming on the road. Tuesday’s game will have postseason implications as Sacramento will enter play in a tie with the Mavs for the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings.

Playoff implications. A national broadcast. Plenty of talent on the floor. Get ready for an action-packed two-game set between these two postseason hopefuls.

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Mavericks coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

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Upcoming Schedule

  • Tuesday, March 26th – Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks – 7:00 PM PST
  • Friday, March 29th – Sacramento Kings vs. Dallas Mavericks – 7:00 PM PST
  • Sunday, March 31st – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 6:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, April 2nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Clippers – 7:00 PM PST
  • Thursday, April 4th – Sacramento Kings @ New York Knicks – 4:30 PM PST

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