Kings’ Domantas Sabonis Compiles 23rd Triple-Double, Remains Unbeaten vs. Lakers’ Anthony Davis

Domantas Sabonis scored 17 points, grabbed 19 rebounds, and dished out 10 assists as the Kings defeated the Lakers 120-107 in Sacramento on Wednesday night.Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings, Anthony Davis Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

Despite LeBron James playing 40 minutes and ending one assist shy of a triple-double, his efforts ultimately fell short against the Kings, who held on to complete the season sweep 4-0 vs. the Lakers. 

After the win, Sabonis remained undefeated when going against Anthony Davis, sporting a 10-0 record throughout his career. In the four matchups this season, Sabonis has averaged 18.5 points (62 FG%), 17.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 2.0 steals. On the other side, Davis has averaged 18.8 points (42 FG%), 11.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.3 blocks per game in the four matchups this season. 

With attention to Sabonis’ dominance, it must be remembered that he also recorded another triple-double in last Wednesday’s game vs. AD (16 points, 20 rebounds, 12 assists). To point out, he now has his fifth triple-double since being snubbed from the All-Star game, as the Lithuanian-American currently leads the NBA this season with 23 triple-doubles, being trailed by two other Europeans Nikola Jokic (21) and Luka Doncic (17). So far this season, Sabonis is averaging 20.1 points (61.5 FG%), 13.5 rebounds (1st in NBA), and 8.4 assists (5th in NBA). 

While the game seemed back-and-forth in the first 24 minutes of play, the Kings’ made multiple defensive stops in a row to begin the second half. In fact, the Lakers gave up five turnovers to start the quarter, before making their first second-half field goal six minutes into the third quarter. 

Kings coach Mike Brown credited their victory to the team’s defensive prowess, “When we’re getting eight stops in a row throughout the ballgame versus any team, there’s a chance we can blow that thing open.” Brown said.

Thereupon, after the Lakers scored only 17 third-quarter points off of four made field goals, James reentered the game a minute into the fourth quarter. The NBA’s all-time leading scorer led the Lakers back into striking distance to start the final period, as he was aggressive, repeatedly driving to the basket while drawing fouls and finishing at the rim. One minute after entering the game, LeBron dunked the ball two straight possessions, and assisted an Austin Reaves’ three-pointer, as a result, the Lakers were able to cut the deficit to single digits with nine minutes left in the game. 

Nevertheless, the Kings closed the door right away after Harrison Barnes made four three-pointers throughout a six-minute stretch, as he finished the game with seven three-pointers, which tied a season-high. LeBron, who was reportedly fighting a cold and a sore ankle tonight, spoke on the Kings knocking down shots late in the game, “When you stop an offensive team like that and they get a second chance and they kick out, those are the ones that are kind of demoralizing. When you play 24 seconds of great defense, you know the ball bounces the wrong way, and they get an offensive rebound and they hit a three, those are always the ones that kill you.” 

“Offensively we couldn’t get it going, and they did,” James stated. “Really good team, really, really good team, they had our number this year for sure.”

After scoring a game-high 28 points, Reaves spoke about the Lakers’ past two losses to the Kings within a week, “Those are both two big games, obviously against a really good opponent,” Reaves said. “We had an opportunity this past week and a half to climb the standings, they are a team that is right ahead of us by a couple games, a little larger now, so those are missed opportunities, but it’s in the past… just got to buckle down and take every game as a must-win, go put our best foot forward and try to win every game we play.”

The Kings improved to a 38-27 record and are currently the sixth seed in the West, while the Lakers fell to a 36-31 record and are the ninth seed. Including their win against the Lakers in Los Angeles last week, the Kings have now won four out of their last five and will continue their homestead vs. the Knicks (38-27) on Saturday at 10:00 pm ET. The Lakers will try to push forward in their battle for a playoff spot as they host the 10th-seeded Warriors (34-31) on Saturday at 8:30 pm ET on ABC.

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