Domantas Sabonis

Kings teammates praise Fox's standout defense in huge win vs. Clippers

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It was a Hollywood star-worthy two-way performance from De’Aaron Fox, who powered the Kings' 123-107 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night at Arena.

Sacramento’s star guard erupted for 33 points from the floor while adding seven assists, six rebounds and three steals in what was, according to his Kings teammates, one of the 26-year-old’s most impactful defensive performances of his career. 

“I thought a big thing for us tonight was our pace and our physicality,” Barnes told reporters after the win. "We talked about that during this last stretch. We feel like if we play our style of basketball we are beating a lot of these games. I thought we started the game the right way. 

“I thought Fox hit the tone defensively for us. In my six years, probably one of his best defensive games all around that I've seen him play. And I think everyone just fed off of that."

After losing the first two bouts of the season against the Clippers, who were without NBA All-Star guard Paul George on Sunday, the Kings’ third consecutive victory serves as a testament to the type of applaudable results from two-way basketball that coach Mike Brown wants to see.

“Everyone came out and played aggressive,” Sabonis said. “Coach [Mike Brown] wanted us to be aggressive, but it all started with Fox. It was a Fox show tonight. Offense [and] defense, he did everything. He basically won us the game.” 

With Domantas Sabonis, who recorded his 20th triple-double of the season, on cruise control, Sacramento limiting Los Angeles to no more than 30 points a quarter and Fox demonstrating that he’s gaining ground on becoming one of the NBA’s most complete guards, optimism and confidence is brewing inside the Kings’ locker room. 

After all, Sacramento shifting up gears defensively – in large part due to Fox— couldn’t have come at a better time, as middle-of-the-pack teams in the highly competitive West experience instability, giving the Kings an opportunity to climb the ladder. 

“It’s huge,” Fox told reporters. “It all started with the way that we were guarding tonight. I mean going up against a team like this, we didn’t give up 30 points in a single quarter. 

“You put yourself in a great position to win, regardless of who you are playing against if you never give up 30 in a quarter. [It] probably didn’t matter what our offense looked like at that point. If you’re guarding that way, you give yourself a chance every night.”  

Not only was Sunday’s victory a cornerstone in Fox’s career defensively speaking, but, arguably, for Sacramento's season as well. 

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