The Sacramento Kings just won quite literally the greatest regular season game in NBA history, beating the Los Angeles Clippers, 176-175, in double overtime. Yes...you read that correctly. In the second-highest scoring game in NBA history, both teams combined for a whopping 351 points.
This was the type of game that can change everything for a team. Second night of a back-to-back, on the road and against a very good Los Angeles Clippers team that is coming off a full week of rest. Most teams in the league lose this game probably seven or eight times out of ten. But somehow, someway, the Beam Team showed some serious grit and played with an insurmountable level of heart.
#BeamTeam pic.twitter.com/E1gGyIgccb— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 25, 2023
Here are five takeaways from this signature beam team win.
Malik Monk and De'Aaron Fox vs. the Clippers:— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 25, 2023
Monk: 45 PTS, 6 Threes
Fox: 42 PTS, 12 Ast, 5 Stl pic.twitter.com/VwuUs2sN9F
Last night, De’Aaron Fox continued his elite level of play over this recent stretch. He scored 42 points accompanied by 12 assists and 5 steals. The Kings' defensive player of the game was unguardable all night and helped lead his team to a major win on a night where Domantas Sabonis was busy battling Tony Brothers.
De'Aaron Fox is *tough* pic.twitter.com/Pt0maFlslQ— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) February 25, 2023
But even with all that said, he had only the second most impressive performance for the Kings.
The first came courtesy of Malik Monk, who had the game of his life against the Clippers. He scored 45 points off the bench, including a buzzer-beating three to send the game into overtime. Not only was it his career high, but it was the most points scored by a reserve player this season. Monk also tied Kevin Martin for most bench points in Sacramento Kings history.
Every bucket from Malik Monk's 4th quarter + OT masterclass. 30 points - 45 in the game. The confidence he plays with is incredible. pic.twitter.com/V5XPmBuq1L— Kings Film Room (@SacFilmRoom) February 25, 2023
This was also the first game in Kings’ franchise history where two players scored 40 or more points in the same game, and the third game in NBA history where a starter and bench player would both score 40.
A historic night, to say the least.
It wasn’t just Monk that made a major impact in this one though. Everyone played their part and contributed in a major way on both ends of the floor. Even without Monk’s numbers, the bench accumulated 32 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 steals and 1 block. They also had a combined +/- of +8 in a game where the Kings were trailing seemingly all night.
Not letting the officials decide the outcome
The Kings are no stranger to an unfair whistle. This game, officiated by Tony Brothers, looked to be in favor of the Clippers from the jump. But instead of folding over and angrily staring at a Last 2 Minute report the next day, the Kings got gritty and forced a victory on their own terms. This is what separates the Mike Brown Kings from past teams. Swagger, and the ability to fight.
The game chart shows the fight in this team tonight. pic.twitter.com/yzGTs6zDbt— Will Z. Stats (@will_zimmerle) February 25, 2023
"I don't give a f*ck who's over there."— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 25, 2023
Fox and Monk are only worried about themselves. pic.twitter.com/lWXY0c20xW
Going into the game the Clippers averaged the 12th-fewest turnovers per game in the league with 14.0. Tonight, the Kings were able to take advantage of some sloppy play and force a staggering 25 turnovers.
When you’re playing a team that ends up shooting over 60% from the field and almost 58% from three, those extra opportunities not only boosted momentum, but kept them in the game. Without the turnovers, Sacramento loses this game by a mile.
KINGS ARE FIGHTING! pic.twitter.com/yqV39cIiWc— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 25, 2023
Fastbreak and paint points in the paint
The point differentials both off of fastbreak points and points in the paint were kind of ludicrous. The Kings had 41 fastbreak points as opposed to the Clippers' 17; they also had 88 points in the paint compared to the Clippers' 48.
When the Kings are clicking on their scheme and play to their strengths this is what happens. They are faster and more athletic than almost every team in the league. They took advantage of this and made magic happen.
Fox and Monk on the fast break is pay-per-view worthy #BeamTeam pic.twitter.com/CZRAugU2xW— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 25, 2023