West Notes: Kings, Domantas Sabonis, Rockets, Blazers


Forward Keon Ellis has a career game in Saturday’s road game against the Magic, scoring the final point to secure a 109-107 Kings victory.Domantas Sabonis, Sacramento Kings, NBA

Ellis scored a career-high 19 points and added six assists, with a 22-footer at the 1:59 mark to put Sacramento up five. Fittingly, he grew up in Eustis, Florida, 30 minutes from Orlando.

“Keon was huge,” coach Mike Brown told reporters. “He was freaking phenomenal.”

Ellis said it’s all about the big picture and the Kings fighting for positioning in a tight West playoff race.

“We’re trying to prove ourselves, just like them,” he told reporters. “So when we’re out here we’re trying to earn each others’ respect.”

The Kings defeated the Magic in double overtime in Sacramento earlier this season.

  • Center Domantas Sabonis recorded 21 points and 14 rebounds — which means he now has 53 straight double-doubles. That ties Kevin Love’s streak in 2010-11, the longest since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.
  • Brown on the victory: “We won the possession game while defending, and that’s why we got a road win in a tough environment vs. a really good team.”


Don’t look now, but the Rockets have won eight straight and are right on the heels of the Warriors for the West’s final play-in spot.

It’s their longest win streak since 2019.

“It won’t really mean anything if we don’t make the playoffs,” guard Jalen Green told reporters after Saturday’s 147-119 hammer job of the Jazz. “That’s the goal everyone has right now. I’m just trying to go out there and be the best version of myself for my teammates.”

  • Point guard Fred VanVleet connected on 10 3-pointers to tie James Harden and Chandler Parsons for the single-game franchise record.
  • VanVleet on his big night: “I felt good after the first shot,” VanVleet said. “Got a couple more clean looks. When it’s going in like that, and you get good looks, teammates find you in good spots. We got it going a little bit there, and we were trying to ride that wave a little there.”

Trail Blazers

It’s been a season to forget for the Blazers, but they did set a little history in Saturday’s home loss to the Nuggets.

Namely, Portland became just the second team since 1971-72 to start five rookies. 

Those starters for the Blazers — Scoot Henderson, Duop Reath, Kris Murray, Toumani Camara and Rayan Rupert.

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