On Thursday night, the Sacramento Kings beat the New York Knicks by 122-117 points, led by center Domantas Sabonis’ ninth triple-double score of the season.
Sabonis led the charge with 24 points, ten assists, and 13 rebounds in a close game against the Knicks. Kings coach Mike Brown has voiced his displeasure with the team’s performance despite the victory.
The team narrowly avoided defeat after Sabonis scored a couple of free throws six seconds before the end, giving the team a narrow five-point lead.
“I am not happy with the way that we played tonight. 23 offensive rebounds. Happy about the win, but that does not sit well with me at all,” Brown said.
“If we don’t fix that, we’re going to get our behinds kicked come playoff time. That’s when the big boys show up.”
Point guard De’Aaron Fox followed Sabonis with 23 points, 15 of which were made after the fourth quarter. Guard Malik Monk added 19 points coming off the bench, with forward Trey Lyles contributing 16 points and guard Kevin Huerter scoring 14.
Despite coach Brown’s worries, Kings players seem optimistic for their next playoff games, citing the victory as proof of their capabilities.
“During the playoffs, it’s going to be a normal occurrence, so hopefully we’re able to get homecourt advantage and those first two games, let’s get it rocking,” Fox said in a post-game interview.
New York suffered their second consecutive loss this Thursday, dropping to 39-29 in the rank despite their nine straight wins early in the season. Small forward RJ Barrett led the losing charge for the Knicks with 25 points.
The Knicks also lost their starting guard Jalen Brunson, who left the game due to worsening foot soreness. Despite his premature exit, Brunson helped score 19 points in 19 minutes for the Knicks.
Thursday night’s game presented an even match in its early stage, with the Knicks owning a 58-42 lead due to over 23 rebounds against the Kings. However, power forward Keegan Murray shot the Kings up to a 79-58 lead after an astounding three-pointer in the third quarter.
Kings point guard Davion Mitchell later scored a layup two seconds before the end of the third quarter, consolidating the Kings’ 91-84 lead.
For the most part, the Knicks could balance the scores to 92-91 with a dunk from forward Obi Toppin. Several rebounds and a shot from Barrett later added up to 96 points for the Knicks.
However, the New York team was quickly outpaced by Fox, who gave seven consecutive points to the Kings shortly after.
The Knicks trailed for most of the game before point guard Immanuel Quickley scored a 3-pointer, followed by power forward Julius Randle’s double baskets. Their contributions pushed the Knicks into a narrow 115-113 lead with less than a minute left into the game.
The Kings quickly followed up with a dunk from Fox and two free throw scores from Sabonis, pushing the game in their favor just seconds before the final bell.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau shared his regrets in the game, seeing an opening for another victory after their recent loss. However, he acknowledged the shortcomings of the team’s early game, leading to a tense finisher.
“We talked about it, we didn’t like the way we started. They’re a very explosive team. We had a shot at the end but we fell short,” Thibodeau said.
Along with Barrett’s 25-point lead, Randle gave the Knicks 23 points and ten rebounds. Shooting guard Quentin Grimes also contributed 19 points, matching alongside Brunson before the latter’s early exit.
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