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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Jan 14, 2024 8:28 am

Rested Kings bid to take advantage of winded Bucks

The sweaty sneakers will be on the other feet Sunday night when the host Milwaukee Bucks play on the second night of a back-to-back set against the rested Sacramento Kings.

The Bucks took advantage of a fatigued opponent for the second time in three days during their 129-118 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

Milwaukee’s four oldest starters were pressed into 33 or more minutes against the Warriors

Giannis Antetokounmpo (33 points), Damian Lillard (27 points) and Khris Middleton (24 points, 10 rebounds) made the most of their lengthy outings, helping the Bucks take a little momentum into Sunday’s game.

Another Milwaukee player who saw big minutes Saturday was rookie Andre Jackson Jr., who recorded his first double-double while playing 28 minutes. He matched season high with 10 points to go along with a campaign-best 10 rebounds.

Six of Jackson’s rebounds came on the offensive end, a skill he said he honed at UConn.

“I take pride in being a competitor. I’m as competitive as anyone on the team. Learned it from playing in college,” he said. “I’m not going to back down to nobody. I’m not afraid of nobody; I don’t fear anybody.”

Jackson could find himself battling for rebounds Sunday with one of the NBA’s best, Sacramento big man Domantas Sabonis. The double-double machine has snatched 10 or more rebounds in 33 of his 38 games this season, helping produce nine triple-doubles.

He had three triple-doubles in a four-game stretch through Tuesday, and has since put up double-doubles against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday and the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, the latter being a game in which five of his 12 boards were on the offensive end.

The Kings lost to the 76ers 112-93, snapping a two-game road winning streak.

Sabonis has been on the losing end in each of his past 10 games against the Bucks, but he’s been hard to blame. He had six double-doubles in the first nine defeats before recording a 23-point, 17-rebound, 15-assist classic when the Kings lost at home to Milwaukee in the teams’ most recent meeting last March.

“He does everything,” teammate De’Aaron Fox said of Sabonis. “He’s a walking triple-double. There aren’t many guys to ever play the game and do that, and he does it on a consistent basis. He can have a bad night, and you still look up and it’s 15 (points), 15 (rebounds), 8 (assists). That’s not normal.”

The first Bucks-Kings meeting of the season pits Fox against rival Lillard for the first time since the latter was acquired by Milwaukee.

In fact, Fox and Lillard haven’t gone head-to-head since their one and only duel last season, which came on opening night on Oct. 19, 2022. Fox won the individual battle by outscoring Lillard 33-20, however the Portland Trail Blazers pulled out a 115-108 victory over Sacramento.

Kings guard Kevin Huerter is questionable with a sprained left ankle.

–Field Level Media

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