Domantas Sabonis

Kings bounce back with dominating win over Suns

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Any concerns from Wednesday's stunning 144-119 defeat by the Boston Celtics now are a forgotten memory, as the Kings ran roughshod over the visiting Phoenix Suns in a 120-105 victory on Friday night at Golden 1 Center.

Sacramento's energy and sense of urgency were apparent from the opening tip as the Kings sent a message to the rest of the league, but more importantly to themselves, that Wednesday's embarrassing loss was an exception, not the rule.

Domantas Sabonis led the way for Sacramento with his fourth triple-double of the 2023-24 NBA season, recording 28 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in the dominant win over Phoenix.

Coach Mike Brown highlighted the All-Star center's marquee performance, citing the difficulty for a big man to post the kind of stat line Sabonis recorded against the Suns.

"It's hard. It's almost impossible to be a center and get a triple-double, alright," Brown told reporters after the game. "There's only a couple guys out there, Domas is one of them, [Denver Nuggets center Nikola] Jokic might be the other one. I may be forgetting another guy or two. But it's hard to get a triple-double from the center position, especially as much as he gets them."

De'Aaron Fox made history in the third quarter after passing Mike Bibby as the Kings' all-time leader in assists with the 2,581st dime of his NBA career. The All-NBA point guard finished the evening with 21 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals in 32 minutes of action.

The Kings spent the majority of the second half holding a comfortable lead that swelled as high as 29 points, with Phoenix never truly threatening over the final 20-plus minutes of the game after Sacramento raced out to a 14-2 run to begin the third quarter.

Following the game, Keegan Murray revealed that the Kings' fueled their third-quarter barrage with a cohesive effort to stay aggressive and not let up after taking a double-digit lead into the half.

"We just stayed aggressive," Murray told reporters after Friday's win. "We were up by what, 11 at half? We just wanted to keep our foot on the gas in the third quarter and just keep the pace up. I feel like we did a good job of that."

The Kings now are 11-4 at Golden 1 Center this season, tapping into the incredible energy from a raucous home crowd that has created one of the most electric atmospheres in professional sports.

Good teams get humbled in the NBA. Great teams have a short memory and find a way to rebound from those stunning defeats.

That's precisely what the Kings did on Friday night, eroding any doubts about their status as a contender and cementing their place as a team that should be feared by the rest of the league moving forward.

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