SACRAMENTO KINGS

Sabonis & Murray lead Kings to blowout win over Hornets

Jan 10, 2024, 6:28 PM | Updated: Jan 11, 2024, 7:58 am

Keegan Murray #13 and Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings react after a timeout call durin...

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

After falling behind by 20 points during the first quarter of Tuesday’s game in Detroit, the Sacramento Kings weren’t going to repeat the same mistakes on Wednesday night.

The Kings, who have struggled on the second night of back-to-backs this season, quickly made it clear that they would not fall victim to the Charlotte Hornets for the second time over the past eight days as Sacramento coasted to a 123-98 win at the Spectrum Center.

Behind another impressive performance from Keegan Murray and Domantas Sabonis’ 20th-straight double-double, the Kings (23-14) improved to a season-high nine games over the .500 mark.

Last season, Sacramento improved to nine games over .500 on February 24th when they were 34-25.

Kings vs. Hornets Takeaways

On the heels of a 32-point performance during Tuesday’s win in Detroit, it didn’t take Keegan Murray long to get going in Charlotte.

Last year’s fourth-overall pick racked up 12 points on five-of-seven shooting from the field (two-of-three from deep) during the first quarter as Sacramento benefited from solid starts from its top three scoring options.

With Murray leading the way, De’Aaron Fox ending the period with back-to-back triples (10 points in the first), and Domantas Sabonis continuing to act as an anchor in the post (9 points), the Kings erased an early seven-point deficit and took the lead–as well as the game’s momentum–into the second period.

Sacramento’s ‘Big 3’ set the tone early, with Murray leading the way by scoring 21 points on nine-of-13 shooting from the field to go along with five rebounds and three assists.

Sabonis continued his run of dominant with an 18-point, six-rebound, five-assist half, while Fox added 13 points of his own as the Kings used a red-hot start (61% FG and 55% 3PT) to take a 71-59 lead into the break.

Sacramento never looked back after taking the lead at the end of the first quarter, as the Kings put forth a complete effort on both ends of the floor.

The Kings finished the night shooting 51 percent from the field and 37 percent from three-point range, improving to 18-2 when shooting above 36 percent from deep this season.

After being held to just 104 points during their last meeting with Charlotte on January 2nd, a motivated Sacramento offense was firing on all cylinders, with Murray leading the charge in the latest impressive showing from the sophomore.

Murray finished the night with a team-high 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting (three-of-six from deep), six rebounds, three assists, and one blocked shot over 32 minutes.

The Iowa product has joked with head coach Mike Brown that he wants to get more post-up opportunities, and while the forward didn’t get too many post-up chances on Wednesday, he continued to showcase his improved scoring ability in and around the paint.

Murray finished the night seven-of-eight (87%) in the paint during the win as the Hornets struggled to contain the reigning All-Rookie First Team member.

The Kings are now 21-2 when Murray has scored 20+ points during his NBA career.

Good things happen when Keegan Murray is locked in, and the 23-year-old is showing fans why he could be the third piece that Sacramento has been searching for to pair with Fox and Sabonis.

Domas’ Amazing Streak

Another day, another double-double for Domantas Sabonis.

Sabonis extended his double-double streak to 20 games–the second time that the All-NBA center has done so during his brief Kings career.

Over just 28 minutes of action, Sabonis scored 24 points on nine-of-13 shooting from the field to go along with ten rebounds and seven assists during the win.

The 27-year-old became just the second player in Sacramento Kings franchise history (1948-present) to post multiple double-double streaks spanning 20+ games, joining Hall of Fame guard Oscar Robertson.

Last season, Sabonis posted a double-double in 23 games. After reaching the 20-game mark on Wednesday, the big man is showing few signs of slowing down.

If it seems like Sabonis is doing something historic on a nightly basis, it’s because he is. We’re seeing an extraordinary run from a player who is climbing Sacramento’s record books at a rapid pace.

Notes

  • Malik Monk has posted 20+ points in consecutive games for the second time this season (20 points).
  • Alex Len scored eight points and grabbed ten rebounds over 14 minutes.
  • De’Aaron Fox added 19 points off the bench over 28 minutes.
  • Sacramento won the battle of the boards 59-43.

Injury Updates

In his second game back in the starting lineup, Kevin Huerter exited Wednesday’s game just 41 seconds in after injuring his left ankle during the opening tip-off. The Kings did not provide a timetable for Huerter, and he is considered day-to-day for Friday’s game in Philadelphia.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

After starting the road trip against two teams with a combined winning percentage of .124, the heat will turn up for Sacramento before returning home.

Friday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers will be the first of three upcoming matchups against 2022-23 playoff teams. After facing the 76ers on ESPN, the Kings will travel to Milwaukee and Phoenix before flying back to Sacramento.

The Kings have lost nine straight games against the 76ers, with their most recent win coming on February 2, 2019. Sacramento has not beaten Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center since December 19, 2017 (lost the past five games).

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. 76ers coverage, beginning at 3:00 PM PST on Game Night before a 4:30 PM PST tip-off from the ‘City of Brotherly Love.’

Upcoming Schedule

  • Friday, January 12th – Sacramento Kings @ Philadelphia 76ers – 4:30 PM PST
  • Sunday, January 14th – Sacramento Kings @ Milwaukee Bucks – 4:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, January 16th – Sacramento Kings @ Phoenix Suns – 6:00 PM PST
  • Thursday, January 18th – Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers – 7:00 PM PST
  • Monday, January 22nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks – 7:00 PM PST

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