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SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 31: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings dribbles the ball up court against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center on December 31, 2021 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 Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Streak Over: Fox, Kings Defeat LeBron, Lakers To Snap Five-Game Skid

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

De’Aaron Fox scored 29 points and looked dominant as Sacramento was able to hold off Los Angeles on Wednesday night

If I told you this morning that the Sacramento Kings would be the ones to go on a furious third-quarter run to take control of Wednesday night’s game against the Los Angles Lakers, would you have believed me?

Believe it.

Sacramento used a massive 40-point third period to get their revenge on the Lakers as they snapped a five-game losing-streak with a 125-116 win in front of an active crown at Golden 1 Center.

With the win, the Kings (17-27) improve to 11-14 at home and pull themselves to within one game of the 10th spot in the Western Conference standings.

Los Angeles used a 12-2 run to create some early separation from the Kings in the first as LeBron James scored eight points to lead all scorers and give the Lakers a 34-29 lead heading into the second quarter.

Sacramento opened up the second period with an 8-3 run to tie things up at 37-37, but the Lakers shut down the Kings offense while embarking on a 14-2 run of their own to build a 51-39 lead with 7:38 remaining in the half.

Noted Kings-killer Malik Monk got off to a red-hot start on Wednesday as the former Kentucky Wildcat went four-for-five from three-point range to immediately apply pressure to Sacramento’s perimeter defense. Monk and James combined to score 29 points in the first half to give Los Angeles a 67-61 lead at the break.

Second-chance points were the costly difference in the first half as the Lakers scored 20 points on 10 offensive rebounds during the first 24 minutes of play.

For Sacramento, both De’Aaron Fox (14 points) and Tyrese Haliburton (10 points, six assists) got into double-figures before the break, while Davion Mitchell provided fans in attendance with a top-tier ankle-breaker that brought out the ooh’s and ahh’s.

The last time that these teams met at Golden 1 Center back on November 30th, the Los Angeles Lakers went on a brutal 37-15 third quarter run to pick apart the Kings defense and end the game before the fourth quarter started.

On Wednesday night, it was Sacramento who would do the punching in the third as the Kings used a 31-12 run to take an 92-79 lead with less than five minutes to go in the quarter. Los Angeles chipped away at the lead, but Fox (24 points through three quarters) and the Kings were in business with a 101-90 lead.

Tyrese Haliburton picked up his 10th assist and his 11th double-double of the season when he found Harrison Barnes in the corner for a triple to give Sacramento a 106-95 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Of course, you didn’t think that it was going to be easy, did you?

Two free-throw’s from Monk reduced the Kings lead to 113-107 with 5:27 left, setting the stage for another close finish between these former hated rivals. Minutes later, LeBron James’ drive to the rack made it 118-116 Sacramento with 1:27 on the clock.

De’Aaron Fox’s jumper gave the Kings some breathing room as Sacramento regained a four-point lead with less than a minute to play–a lead that would grow to seven and put the game out of reach after Chimezie Metu buried a triple to silence those in attendance wearing Lakers yellow.

What a way to end a five-game losing streak.

Sacramento was the one to come out victorious after a monster third quarter (outscored L.A. 40-23) in a favorable turn of events compared to what has transpired for this team over the recent five-game skid.

“It was a much-needed win,” Kings head coach Alvin Gentry said postgame. “We did a good job of attacking the paint. We ended up with 70 points in the paint. That was the difference in the game, we were able to get the ball to the basket.”

Putting together a full-48 minutes of consistent solid play is something that we haven’t seen the Kings do in quite some time. On Wednesday night, fans got to see a glimpse of this team at its best:

De’Aaron Fox scoring at will. Tyrese Haliburton setting the table. Harrison Barnes playing like a legit second-or-third scoring option. Marvin Bagley III scoring and rebounding at an effective rate. Role players doing their jobs. Another tally in the win column.

Sacramento has a chance to make up some ground as their next three games come against the Houston Rockets (12-31) and the Detroit Pistons (9-31) before the team embarks on a five-game road-trip.

If the Kings want to climb out of this hole that they have dug themselves into, Wednesday night’s performance is the start that they needed to begin that ascent.

Rounding Out The Box Score

Fox finished with 29 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the field in what was an All-Star-type performance from the young guard. The Lakers defense had no answer for Fox as he penetrated the paint with ease throughout Wednesday night’s contest.

For the first time since December 17th, Harrison Barnes topped the 20-point mark and showed shades of his early-season form by scoring 23 point on nine-of-14 shooting from the field and three-of-six from three-point range to go along with seven rebounds.

Tyrese Haliburton finished the night with 14 points, 10 assists and two steals over 38 minutes of playing time.

Marvin Bagley III had his strongest showing of the season with 16 points on seven-of-nine shooting to go along with nine boards before exiting the game late after taking a hit to the hand from LeBron James. Bagley said postgame that he was feeling fine, but head coach Alvin Gentry told the media that the forward will undergo testing to determine the injury.

Chimezie Metu had another solid performance in Wednesday’s win with 14 points on five-of-eight shooting, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals over 22 minutes.

Injury Updates

Richaun Holmes has tested out of the NBA’s COVID-19 Health & Safety protocols and is nearing a return to game action.

The 28-year-old entered protocols on January 1st and has missed six-straight games, but the veteran big has exited protocols and is getting back into game shape while on G-League assignment with Sacramento’s affiliate in Stockton.

Holmes is likely to return during the current five-game home-stand.

Damian Jones remains in the league’s COVID-19 Health & Safety protocols. Jones can return to game action after registering successive negative COVID-19 tests 24 hours apart. Moments before tip-off, the Kings announced that forward Robert Woodard II entered protocols.

Tristan Thompson was listed as questionable due to right quad soreness prior to Wednesday’s game before being ruled inactive (non-COVID illness). Thompson is considered day-to-day for both ailments.

Coming Up

The Kings will play the first of two games against the Houston Rockets on Friday night at Golden 1 Center before both teams do it all over again on Sunday afternoon.

Last season, the Rockets took two of three regular season matchups, although Sacramento came away victorious in the most-recent showdown back on March 11, 2021–a 125-105 blowout win behind 30 points from De’Aaron Fox.

Fox was one of four Kings players to score 20 points or more (Fox, Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes, Buddy Hield).

Be sure to get all of your all of your Kings vs Rockets coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK beginning at 5:30pm PST on Game Night with Scott Marsh and Henry ‘The High Flyer’ Turner prior to a 7:00pm PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

  • January 14th vs Houston Rockets
  • January 16th vs Houston Rockets
  • January 19th vs Detroit Pistons
  • January 22nd @ Milwaukee Bucks
  • January 25th @ Boston Celtics

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