Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija (9) passes the ball as Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) and guard De'Aaron Fox (5) defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)
WASHINGTON — Domantas Sabonis had 30 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, and Terence Davis II provided an early spark off the bench and added 21 points as the Sacramento Kings beat the Washington Wizards 132-118 Saturday night.
“He’s getting hit in the head,” coach Mike Brown said of Sabonis’ physical night. “Getting knocked on the ground and he just keeps coming and coming and coming. He has 30, nine and nine. Extremely efficient on 12 shots. How do you get 30 on 12 shots? That’s ridiculous. I got to keep reminding guys that he is an All-NBA guy. That’s just a reminder that he’s that guy.”
Six players scored in double figures for the Kings. Keegan Murray scored 19, Malik Monk added 17, De’Aaron Fox had 12 and Harrison Barnes 11. Sacramento shot a 22 for 37 from 3-point range, a season-best 59.5%, with five each from Murray, Davis and Monk.
Murray felt Sabonis played a major role in the team’s performance from beyond the arc.
“I think with Domas, he brings a lot of attention with him offensively,” Murray said. “With our offense, it’s just fluid. You never know what to expect. We can do different things at different times. Tonight we did that. We got a lot of open looks. We made shots.”
Sacramento has won 11 of its last 13 games since the All-Star break and seven straight on the road. The Kings are tied with the Grizzlies at 43-27, four games behind the Nuggets in the race for the top spot in the Western Conference.
“I think it’s just our backs against the wall,” Murray said. “We knew this was going to be a tough stretch for us. A lot of really good teams we had to play, a lot of wins that we had to get. I think we have just been playing 100% every single game and just see how the tables turn.”
Kyle Kuzma scored 33 points and Bradley Beal added 20 for the Wizards, who have lost seven of their last nine games.
The Kings led 71-60 at the break behind 18 points from Sabonis and four 3-pointers by Davis.
“He hadn’t played in awhile,” Brown said of Davis. “He’s just a guy that continually keeps himself ready. He hit some timely shots for us. He had seven boards tonight which was fantastic to see. He was big.”
Kessler Edwards, subbing for the injured Kevin Huerter, played tight defense on Beal, limiting the Wizards’ leading scorer to five points in the first half on 2-for-8 shooting while playing most of the second quarter with three fouls.
Kuzma scored 20 in the first half, despite having to leave the game for five minutes early in the first due to a leg injury.
Kings: Edwards made his first start with Sacramento and second overall this season, replacing Huerter, who was out with mild right leg muscle strain.
Brown likes Edwards youthful confidence on the floor: “His ability to offensive rebound, every possession he runs extremely hard, in transition with directions. For a young guy, he doesn’t seem to be afraid of the moment.”
Brown gave forward Trey Lyles a rest day because of right shoulder soreness. “It’s not bad,” Brown said. “If it were a playoff game, he most likely would play.”
Wizards: Coach Wes Unseld Jr. said newly signed forward Xavier Cooks completed his first workout with the team Saturday morning. Cooks made his NBA debut in the fourth quarter, playing five-plus minutes and grabbing one rebound. “Another guy with size, athleticism,” Unseld Jr. said.
“He’s got the versatility to defend multiple positions.”
Forward Corey Kispert started for center Krystaps Porzingis, who sat out with an illness.
MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, Brook Lopez scored 17 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, and the Milwaukee Bucks rallied for a 118-111 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night.
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