The trade deadline isn’t even here yet, and the Sacramento Kings are already within one game of last seasons win total. The winning continued last night and the beam was lit yet again after the Kings walked into San Antonio and handled their business. Despite winning 119-109, and Malik Monk almost landing the dunk of the year, the game was a lot closer than it should have been.
Here are three takeaways:
The stars came to play the night before All-Star reserve selections
De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis showed up and showed out. Fox tallied 31 points, 10 assists, 3 steals and 1 block while Sabonis had 34 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Kings fans have dreamed of the day where their two best players could both recorded 30 point double-doubles and it wouldn’t even be a surprise.
The Fox and the Ox have begun to gather a lot of media attention over the last couple weeks with many analysts expressing their beliefs that both deserve to make the All-Star game. With this being their final outing before the reserves are announced, they both definitely left a great last impression.
Fox and Sabonis combined tonight:— Will Z. Stats (@will_zimmerle) February 2, 2023
28-of-43 (65.1%) from the field
3-of-6 (50%) from 3
6-of-8 (75%) from the FT line
All. Stars. pic.twitter.com/9NtrvREBOX
Winning the games they’re supposed to even when they don’t play their best
Despite a 10-point margin of victory, you wouldn’t assume they won unless you saw the final score. The Spurs were able to finish with more assists, rebounds, points off turnovers and finish with a better field goal and three point percentage. The only stats the Kings won were free throws made/attempted, turnovers, steals and points in the paint. Although they still allowed San Antonio to score an unacceptable amount of points in the paint with 68.
The Spurs are one of the worst teams in the league this year with only 14 total wins. No matter how bad they play, a good team should always prevail in this matchup. The Kings have played their fair share of down to the wire games this year. Though this game wasn’t necessarily gritty, San Antonio cut Sacramento’s lead to just seven with less than three minutes left in the game. It wasn’t the blowout I was hoping for but a win is a win. And there were some exciting highlights.
That Kentucky connection is strong between De'Aaron Fox & Malik Monk.pic.twitter.com/MQgxMiI8s6— Frankie Cartoscelli (@FCartoscelli3) February 2, 2023
Sticking with Malik Monk through the ups and downs
This was Monk’s first 20+ point game of 2023 and it was punctuated with his attempting to commit manslaughter against Jakob Poeltl.
If only Malik Monk made this pic.twitter.com/zay71E5RVb— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 2, 2023
Monk finished with 22 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. After looking like the potential Sixth man of the Year, he’s come back down to Earth over the last few weeks. Monk has looked streaky with his shooting at time this year. However, his ability to create for others and his energy have kept him in the rotation. There are some players you put on the floor no matter how they’ve played recently. For Mike Brown, Malik Monk is one of those guys. His upside overshadows his bad games enough to keep trusting him.