Sabonis’ monster triple-double leads Kings to win over Lakers

Dec 22, 2022, 12:15 AM | Updated: 9:26 am
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 27: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings reacts after a ba...
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Domantas Sabonis did it again.

The two-time All-Star posted a monstrous triple-double during Wednesday’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers, scoring 13 points, grabbing 21 rebounds, and dishing out 12 assists during a 134-120 win in front of a sold-out Golden 1 Center.

Sabonis’ 21-rebound effort was the big man’s second-straight game with 20 or more boards, making him the first King to do so in consecutive efforts since DeMarcus Cousins did so back in the spring of 2015.

Thanks to another superb effort from Sabonis and a massive night from the rest of the starting five, Sacramento (17-13) quickly moved on from Monday’s rough loss against the Charlotte Hornets to get back into the win column against their Pacific Division rival.

It wasn’t a pretty start for the Kings as they shot just 35 percent from the field and 21 percent from beyond the arc. Wednesday’s first quarter was reminiscent of the recent loss against Charlotte, something that raised some alarms around the arena as Sacramento struggled to create offense early.

Those struggles would come to a swift end during the second quarter as the Kings exploded for 41 points on 60/50/89 shooting splits as they started to pull away from the Lakers after ending the period on a 16-4 run.

Sacramento dropped 40 points during the third quarter to all but put the finishing touches on the win as Los Angeles’ shorthanded defense had no answers for a Kings team that had four players top the 20-point mark.

With Kevin Huerter, Keegan Murray, De’Aaron Fox, and Harrison Barnes carrying the scoring load and Domantas Sabonis grabbing 20 rebounds for the second-straight game, there was plenty to like about this team’s 17th win of the season.

If you were seeking a cherry on top of beating the Lakers at home, here’s one:

By defeating Los Angeles on Wednesday, the Kings have ensured that they will have a .500 record or better through December 31st. Not a bad way to ring in the new year.

Mr. Triple-Double

“I looked up during the first quarter and saw that he had 10 [rebounds] already, and was just like, ‘here we go again’,” Kevin Huerter said following the win when asked about Domantas Sabonis’ huge night.

Indeed, Sabonis had already pulled down 10 rebounds during the first quarter, equaling Los Angeles’ rebound total during the opening 12 minutes of play. The two-time All-Star is making it look easy–and by “it”, I mean all of it.

Passing the basketball. Rebounding on both ends of the floor (seven offensive boards on Wednesday). Scoring in the post. Knocking down triples. Domantas Sabonis is playing the best basketball of his career right now, and it’s something that will likely land him in Salt Lake City for February’s NBA All-Star game.

“The way that he facilitates the ball, and then defensively, him trying to guard without fouling is big for us,” De’Aaron Fox said of Sabonis’ recent contributions.

Sabonis is on a historic run, and the numbers back it up.

The big man became the first player with 75 rebounds and 30 assists over a four-game span since Wes Unseld did so in 1970. The only other players to accomplish that feat are Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell & Maurice Stokes, per Elias Sports Bureau.

Nine-straight double-doubles (22 on the season, which leads the entire NBA). Back-to-back 20+ rebound games–one that was part of a triple-double–is just video game-type stuff.

Threegan Murray

If Keegan Murray’s play during the month of November had you feeling worried about the rookie, I would imagine that his month of December has eased some of–or all of–those concerns.

Murray topped the 20-point mark for the second time over the past three games during a 23-point (career-high) outing against the Lakers. Sacramento’s fourth-overall pick from June’s draft tied his career-high with six made three-point field goals as he finished the night six-of-12 from beyond the arc over 35 minutes of action.

Murray is gaining confidence with each passing game, and it’s something that shows when you take specific situations into account, like the rookie going right at the rim for a poster jam attempt early in the game. That’s something that Murray simply hasn’t been doing to this point this season, and while the attempt to be on SportsCenter’s top-10 plays didn’t go through, it’s about getting to a point where he feels confident enough to try and jam on opposing NBA defenses.

“I think I’ve gone through the ups and downs of the NBA season already early on, so I know what I need to do to be successful on the court,” Murray said postgame when asked about his confidence. “It’s just staying patient, find my rhythm each game because each game is different. So, just sticking to what I know best and just being confident myself.”

It looks like Murray is making progress in that regard, and more confidence means more aggressiveness from the rookie. When that happens, Sacramento will benefit from nights like Wednesday when the rookie drops 23 points and hits six triples.

The rookie is also making strides on the defensive end, as the team awarded Murray with the Defensive Player of the Game chain after the game in light of taking two charges, something that head coach Mike Brown applauded during his postgame press conference–with some teasing, of course.

“I told him to keep his eyes open when he tries to take a charge.”

The Return of Red Velvet

Kevin Huerter needed this one.

After entering play having averaged 12.7 points per game on 41/26/65 shooting splits over the past 11 games, Huerter snapped out of his cold stretch in a big way as the guard led all Kings scorers with 26 points on nine-of-14 shooting from the field to go along with five boards.

The 24-year-old was finding ways to create outside of just seeking looks on the perimeter, as Huerter knocked down six of his seven field goal attempts from inside of the key and converted all five of his free-throw attempts.

Sure, Huerter hit three triples, but the fact that the first-year King was able to cause damage in various ways speaks to how valuable he is to this team’s winning formula.

Fox Gets Tossed

De’Aaron Fox topped the 20-point mark for the fourth-straight game as the guard scored 22 points (seven-of-13 shooting from the field), grabbed four boards, and dished out six assists over 30 minutes.

With just over three minutes remaining and the game all but out of reach for the Lakers, Fox voiced his opinion to the officials after appearing to have been fouled by LeBron James and Patrick Beverley during a shot attempt.

Instead, no whistles were heard, and Fox was sent to the showers early after being assessed with two technical fouls–the third ejection of Fox’s six-year career.

Fox made it clear that he did not think an ejection was deserved when asked about the incident following Wednesday’s win.

“It is what it is. Worse things have been said to refs, and guys aren’t getting kicked out of games,” Fox said. “What I said was definitely not worthy [of an ejection]. Especially if I already have a tech, the first one. If the game had been close, I would have been hot, but it is what it is.”

Fox has looked healthy and effective after missing some time due to foot soreness, but the Kentucky product is back to his early-season form, making the Kings very scary when you add what Sabonis is currently doing.

Sacramento Kings Injury Report

Harrison Barnes (thigh contusion) was active for Wednesday night’s game after leaving Monday’s loss against Charlotte due to discomfort.

Domantas Sabonis was initially listed as questionable due to hand soreness, but the big man was active against Los Angeles.

Sacramento Kings Postgame Show

Check out our Sactown Sports Kings Recap Show on the Sactown Sports 1140 YouTube channel!

Sactown Sports Kings Recap Shows will be happening all season long, immediately following each Kings game!

Next Game

The Kings will continue a six-game home stand on Friday night when they face Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards.

Get all of your Kings vs. Wizards coverage on Sactown Sports 1140 starting at 5:30 pm PST on Game Night before action tips off at 7:00 pm PST from downtown Sacramento.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

Friday, December 23rd – Sacramento Kings vs. Washington Wizards – 7:00 PM PST

Tuesday, December 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – 7:00 PM PST

Wednesday, December 28th – Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – 7:00 PM PST

Friday, December 30th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7:00 PM PST

2023| Happy New Year! | 2023

Sunday, January 1st – Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies – 5:00 PM PST


Sacramento Kings

Kevin Huerter #9 of the Sacramento Kings reacts after he made a three-point basket against the Broo...
Frankie Cartoscelli

Kevin Huerter on his goal of being in All-Star Weekend’s 3-Point Contest

Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Huerter joined The Carmichael Dave Show with Jason Ross on Friday morning to talk about his goal of participating in NBA All-Star Weekend’s Three-Point Contest, share what it was like to win his first Defensive Player of the Game chain, and discuss the upcoming seven-game road trip that tips off on […]
1 day ago
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 23: Domantas Sabonis #10 of the Sacramento Kings is introduced bef...
Frankie Cartoscelli

Domantas Sabonis passed up for NBA All-Star Starter nod

The NBA announced its Western & Eastern Conference starters for February 19th's NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City.
2 days ago
Keegan Murray #13 of the Sacramento Kings shoots a three-point basket over Xavier Tillman #2 of the...
Joseph Jarosz

Chris Biderman on the Sacramento Kings roster and the team’s search for a backup big

The Sacramento Bee's Chris Biderman joins Deuce & Mo to talk about the Sacramento Kings roster and help preview the NFL playoffs.
2 days ago
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 28: Keegan Murray #13 of the Sacramento Kings stands on the court...
Frankie Cartoscelli

Return of the Roar: Monte’s New Deal & The Kings Fail To Protect G1C

On the latest Return of the Roar, Chris & Frankie dive into Monte McNair's contract extension & look back at the past week of Kings action.
2 days ago
Kings General Manager Monte McNail speaks to the press at media day....
Frankie Cartoscelli

Sam Amick on why the Monte McNair extension happened now instead of the offseason

The Athletic's Sam Amick joined The Carmichael Dave Show with Jason Ross Thursday to talk about general manager Monte McNair and his extension.
2 days ago
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - MARCH 12: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings looks on during the first ...
Frankie Cartoscelli

Kings turn in lowest-scoring performance of the season in loss to Raptors

Toronto's defense pressured the Kings into 19 turnovers during Wednesday's 113-95 loss at Golden 1 Center.
3 days ago
Sabonis’ monster triple-double leads Kings to win over Lakers