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Apr 3, 2024 8:46 pm

Dominant Domantas Sabonis leads Kings into road duel with Knicks

sabonis

The Sacramento Kings are uncertain where they will end up in the playoff picture at the end of a given night.

More certain is Domantas Sabonis getting a double-double.

The standout forward takes an NBA-record run of 58 such games into the opener of Sacramento’s four-game road trip against the New York Knicks on Thursday night.

Sacramento (44-31) is jockeying with the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors in the race for seeding in the play-in round.

The Kings also are trying to catch the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks to avoid being in the play-in.

Sacramento heads into a trip that sees matchups at the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder seeking three straight wins for the first time since Feb. 14-25. The Kings were fifth in the Western Conference at that point but are 11-8 since then, causing a fall into the play-in round.

In its last opportunity at three straight wins, Sacramento was swept in two home games by Dallas last week but bounced back with a 127-106 win over the Utah Jazz Sunday and a 109-95 win Tuesday over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Sabonis collected 22 points and 20 rebounds to go with nine assists, and his streak is five more than the previous record held by Kevin Love for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2010-11 season.

Sabonis has 25 of his 26 triple-doubles during the streak, and his showing against the Clippers marked his third game with 20 points and 20 rebounds.

“Domas has so many damn records I can’t figure it out,” Kings coach Mike Brown said.

Sabonis’ latest double-double also occurred in a game where the Kings allowed their opponent fewer than 100 points for the 10th time this season. Sacramento limited the Clippers to 40.8 percent from the field and outscored them 53-44 in the second half while holding the duo of James Harden and Paul George to a combined 6-of-19 shooting.

“This is how you win in the playoffs,” Brown said. “You don’t win in the playoffs averaging 125 points a game and think that’s how you’re going to win.”

The Knicks (44-31) were in the midst of a 7-1 run when Jalen Brunson scored 42 in their 98-91 win at Sacramento on March 16. They were third in the East after a 145-101 win over the Toronto Raptors last week and are trying to avoid their second four-game losing streak of the season.

New York’s three losses are by a combined 15 points, and Tuesday’s 109-99 loss at Miami was its worst showing in that span. Brunson scored 61 in Friday’s 130-126 overtime loss at San Antonio and then finished with 30 in a 113-112 loss to Oklahoma City on Sunday.

On Tuesday, he was held to 20 on 5-of-18 shooting and was 2-of-8 in the first half when the Knicks trailed by 15 at halftime. Brunson’s quiet night was offset by Donte DiVincenzo scoring 31 and Miles McBride finishing with 24.

“I turned the ball over. I missed some shots. Everyone else did their job except for me,” Brunson said. “I just can’t make mental mistakes.”

The rough showing in Miami dropped the Knicks into fifth, less than a week after they reached third in the East.

The Knicks, who have been clear of the play-in round, are two games in front of the seventh-place Heat and trying to fend off the sixth-place Indiana Pacers.

-Field Level Media

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