In 4th Straight Win, the Kings Rout the Nets on National TV

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 15: Terence Davis #3 of the Sacramento Kings reacts during their game against the Brooklyn Nets at Golden 1 Center on November 15, 2022 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

They’re taking the beam mainstream.

In their first nationally televised game in four years, the Sacramento Kings blew out the Brooklyn Nets at home, 153-121, winning their fourth straight game.

Sacramento had seven players in double-figures. Domantas Sabonis was absolutely dominant out of the gate, going 6 of 6 from the field for 17 points with 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. Kevin Huerter added 19 points on 5 three-pointers made, Harrison Barnes scored 16, and De’Aaron Fox contributed a modest 14 points and 9 assists. Trey Lyles threw in 12 with 3 offensive boards, and Malik Monk dominated garbage time, finishing with 15.

The seventh guy had the most impressive night. In the second quarter, Terence Davis lit the fuse on this demolition of the Nets, finishing the night with a total of 31 points, including going 7 of 10 from beyond the arc, with 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and a block.

Kevin Durant scored 27 points, including 11 of 11 from the free throw line, with 4 rebounds and 6 assists, but other than that Brooklyn was no match, which wasn’t a surprise given the Kings matched up well. For them, there was not enough size nor enough scoring ability to keep the game close against such an offensively talented team with such a skilled big. Sacramento won in rebounding (50-35 total, 8-3 on offensive glass), paint points (66-44), and points off turnovers (25-16).

The Kings came out in the first quarter creating a lead for themselves with Sabonis dominating inside; nobody could guard the big man all night. Huerter was hitting some threes, and Fox scored 8 in the quarter, including a last-second step back three. Once Chimezie Metu subbed in for Domas with a little less than two minutes and with a 10-point lead, the Nets finished on a 10-6 run, and Sac led by just 6.

The Nets then started the second quarter on a 10-4 run, which meant, as a whole, a 20-10 run bridging between the end of the first and the start of the second. 

In the midst of those first few minutes in the quarter, Keegan Murray had attempted to make a defensive play on a pass, but had been overzealous and had to stop his forward momentum, which caused him to strain his back and miss the remainder of the game.

Shortly after Brooklyn tied it up at 40 early in the second, Terence Davis made a terrific effort in transition defense to block Yuta Watanabe at the rim. It was just the beginning for a great night for him, and the beginning of the end for the Nets. Davis was doing it on both ends, hitting three’s, forcing turnovers, and energizing the home crowd. With TD rolling—10 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals in the period—and with the Nets unable to stop Sacramento inside, the Kings led 73-54 at the half.

Davis started the second half in the absence of Murray, and continued his excellent play, and the Kings stretched out their lead. It helped tremendously that Sabonis kept mismatching and bullying guys in the paint, that Sac kept up some nice defensive play, and that they had 13 fast break points in the third.

The fourth quarter was essentially garbage time; Terence Davis continued pouring it on, Monk did not shy away from either scoring or facilitating, and Mike Brown got to get a look at guys like Richaun Holmes, KZ Okpala, and Alex Len.

It was about as explosive of a night as a Kings fan could have asked for on the national stage.

Terence Davis would not be denied

Terence Davis has been having a nice couple of games in spite of inconsistent minutes that seem based on matchups and the hot hand. He’s stayed ready, as his head coach wants, and as a result he is an ace up Mike Brown’s sleeve when it’s necessary to call upon him.

After the game, the head coach declared that Davis is “the most responsive guy” he’s been around.

Davis was electric, playing great defense, getting to the rim, and hitting 2 of 3 looks from deep. He did not just stuff the stat sheet, he was stringing together plays and sequences that helped build such an insurmountable lead, and it started in that second quarter. 

He essentially kicked off what became a 33-14 run to close the final nine minutes of the half with the aforementioned block and a three a few moments after. And then, not long after that, he came up with a steal and a three on the other end. A few minutes later, he came up with another steal which allowed him to dunk on the other end, nearly taking the roof off the building as Jacque Vaughn called a timeout.

For the second half, he added another 21 points, including 5 three’s made, and 4 rebounds.

Best of all, Davis has looked extremely good on the glass. Obviously, he led the team Tuesday night with 9 boards, all on the defensive side, but for the last several games he’s looked really good at securing those defensive stops, never giving up on it

Not only does Terence Davis stay ready whenever his number’s called, but he is ceaselessly looking for a way to impact the game in any way possible. From scoring to defense to work on the glass to pure energy, TD had one hell of a night.

Sabonis could not be stopped

Sabonis clocked about 27 minutes of play until he committed his fourth foul with about three remaining in the third. Mike Brown did not put him back in the game. Why would he?

17 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists almost doesn’t even feel like it adequately tells the full story of Domas’ impact on this game. Really, it was him that was the central issue for the Nets, and they did not have an answer.

Inside, scoring on his own, Sabonis was either too skilled, too strong, or a mix of the two, making it impossible for Nic Claxton or anyone to stop him. Sometimes while on the inside, Sabonis could hit an open man on the perimeter for three, especially if he was doubled. And overall, sometimes things were too easy, either because he was just bigger or nobody was in the paint.

The big man had other great feeds and passes to amass his 7 assists, including leading in transition as he is often prone to do after coming down with a board.

In all, he just looked so great and Brooklyn couldn’t do anything about it, nor can anyone, really. Sabonis is averaging 22.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 6.7 assists through 7 games in November. 

Nice team defensive effort

The Kings continue to make some strides defensively. After playing the Warriors and utilizing the trap/blitz to double Steph Curry, the Kings used that on Durant. It makes sense against Golden State because what else can you do? It makes even more sense against Brooklyn because who else is going to hurt you?

In the event that he’d pass it, sometimes they’d hit looks that Mike Brown’s team could live with, but at other times they couldn’t for the most part. The double also forced turnovers and added extra shot contesters when Durant put one up.

Mike Brown had introduced a lot of this in the walk through ahead of the most recent game against the Warriors. He thought they did well, and they were pretty good with it against Durant and a Nets team still without Kyrie Irving.

Metu wasn’t so great

Lately, Chimezie Metu has looked pretty decent filling in as the backup 5. It’s not like he guards the 1 through the 5 expertly or is a stretch big, and nor is he a particularly large presence. But in terms of energy plays—alley-oops and dunks—he has been pretty good. He’ll throw in some solid defensive moments, but he’s just been adequate at best.

He really didn’t have a great game Tuesday night, though.

First of all, as alluded to earlier, the Nets kind of got going near the end of the first and into the second. That 20-10 run happened with Domas on the bench and Metu on the floor. Sabonis returned seconds after TD’s block that started it all, and it was the two-time all-star out there when the Kings built their massive lead.

What’s more, he committed a three-second violation on defense near the end of the first, committed an illegal screen in the second for a turnover, left space for shooters, and continues to not show a ton of faith in his three-point shot, ending up with a silly turnover because of it

Plus, he got needlessly T’d up going into halftime, and frankly, he deserved it. Why’s he even thinking he can jaw with a star like Durant? It looked legitimately humorous, and not in a flattering way.

At the bottom line, let’s put it this way: Metu finished with a -13 in a game where his team absolutely destroyed their opponent by 32 points.

Holmes, Okpala, and others in garbage time

To start, Malik Monk was awesome in his fourth quarter minutes, keeping the foot on the gas to keep the lead nice and comfy. 

Plus, Monk continued to use quickness offensively, facilitate, and even had a nice defensive contest against the much taller and longer Durant.

A name of interest in the garbage time period was Richaun Holmes, who has fallen out of the rotation after being projected as a surplus of talent at the backup 5 ahead of the season. It’s not like Metu is running away with that role, so it could always be regained. 

Defensively, Holmes didn’t show much to either praise or ridicule, but he did have a moment where he definitely could—and maybe should, given he just lost his job—have dove out to take control of possession. But he didn’t.

On the other hand, he showed two flashes of being offensively useful. First, he had a nice pick and roll score with Monk threading the needle. That’s hardly a surprise; it’s actually expected of him, and his inability to be useful in that regard was part of the reason he’s fallen out of favor. 

The second, however, was a little more of an eyebrow raise because he sunk a three. Holmes had a brief history in Philadelphia as a potential stretch big, but nothing’s really come of it. During the summer, it was hard not to wonder whether he’d bring it back; it seemed like a way to get him on the floor more, and that seems all the more true now.

It was interesting to see Holmes, and it’ll be intriguing to see if he sees some more floor time anytime soon.

Len was also out there with Holmes. You kind of always know what you’ll get out of Len. There were some Brooklyn paint scores against him, but he flashed some nice one-on-one defense guarding the center the Nets have hidden at the end of the bench. And he also hit a 13-foot turnaround jumper.

KZ Okpala was another guy who got to show what he’s been working on. He got time in the third quarter because of Murray’s back. 

Okpala predictably looked good defensively against Durant as well as at running the floor, but he also had a good moment in regards to off-ball movement. He made a smart and timely cut that prevented his teammate from being able to double Sabonis, which in turn brought a defender down to do so, and Trey Lyles got an open look from three because of it. So some nice progress for a guy where awareness of spacing seemed like his biggest downside.

And unofficial coach Matthew Dellavedova saw the floor as well, doing what he usually does in terms of being that on-floor general, communicating and facilitating (he had 4 assists in under eight minutes). He also put in a great effort to some how get in the air and break up a transition alley-oop.

Keegan Murray’s back

As noted, the rookie hurt his back trying to play a pass for a steal. 

There was no update from Mike Brown after the game, and he’ll be evaluated today. It doesn’t appear serious as the initial report indicated, but it is unfortunately another disruption for Murray as he and his family deal with personal matters.

Keep an eye out on that.

Going forward

Mike Brown will face off against his old mentor Gregg Popovich as the San Antonio Spurs come to town for a Thursday night game.

After starting the year as a surprise team with a 5-2 record, the Spurs have lost seven of their last eight games. It will be their third of a five-game road trip. 

And it will be yet another home game for the Kings. After starting 0-3 at home, they’ve now won four straight in Sacramento, and they’ll look to make it five in a row at The Golden 1 Center.

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[…] far for the Sacramento Kings, the expansive audience was able to watch reserve guard Terence Davis explode for a 31-point night where he shot 7 of 10 from deep with 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and a […]


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