What we learned as Fox takes over in Kings' OT win over Mavs

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SACRAMENTO -- The Kings’ clash with the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night was billed as the Kyrie Irving and Luka Dončić show at Golden 1 Center.

The Kings stole the spotlight.

On a night that marked the first time Mavericks stars Dončić and Irving shared the floor together, the Kings answered with two All-Stars of their own and won 133-128 in overtime in front of a rowdy crowd starving to see its famous victory beam lit again.

De’Aaron Fox, named an All-Star reserve Thursday, stepped up as he has all season long in the fourth quarter and overtime. He logged a team-high 36 points on 12-of-23 shooting. 

Domantas Sabonis was no slouch himself, notching another double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds before fouling out late in overtime.

The Mavericks would have stolen the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference from the Kings with a win, but Sacramento held strong and spoiled the Irving-and-Dončić debut.

Here are three takeaways from the Kings’ win:

Clutch Fox

Fox entered the fourth quarter with 10 points. He finished the game with 36.

Just ridiculous. 

Fox, the NBA’s best clutch player this season, notched 26 points over the final 17 minutes of the game and even won a jump ball in the final minute of OT to secure a huge possession for Sacramento.

Fox now has tallied 19 fourth quarters with double-digit points, which ranks second in the NBA behind only Giannis Antetokounmpo (22).

Dallas duo

All eyes were on Golden 1 Center Saturday for the debut of the Mavericks’ star backcourt duo.

It lived up to the hype.

Trailing by 13 late in the first half, the Mavericks entered halftime on a 17-2 tear fueled by their superstar duo. Dallas was a plus-19 when Dončić and Irving shared the floor in the first half.

It was the same story in the second half, as Mavericks coach Jason Kidd mixed and matched the two stars all game. Irving took over in overtime with seven of Dallas’ 14 points, but was outdueled by Fox in a fun battle of All-Star guards.

Dallas didn’t get the win tonight, but the star duo appears more than ready to be the next big one-two punch in the West.

Bench steps up

The Kings’ second unit put on a much different show than Friday night’s first-quarter disaster.

On Friday, the Mavericks outscored the Kings 45-25 in the opening 12 minutes, putting the game out of reach. Sacramento’s bench scored just two points in that dreadful first quarter. 

RELATED: Kyrie praises Fox's evolution, gives credit to Brown's impact

But the bench answered the call 24 hours later. 

Terence Davis led the Kings’ second unit with 22 points, with 17 of those coming on 8-of-10 shooting in an electric first half. It was his third 20-point game of the season and first since he dropped 22 points on the Houston Rockets in 30 minutes on Jan. 13. 

Eighteen minutes in, Davis had put up more points (17) than Dončić and Irving combined (15). His magic continued into overtime with a monster 3-pointer to answer an early trey from Irving.

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