SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Domantas Sabonis had 19 points, a career-high 16 assists and 15 rebounds in his fourth triple-double of the season, as the Sacramento Kings defeated the slipping Houston Rockets 139-114 on Friday night for their third consecutive win.
The Kings (23-18) advanced for the first time since April 2006 when they made their most recent playoff appearance, five games over .500.
“You don’t just feel it in the arena, you feel it all over Sacramento,” Kings coach Mike Brown said of the reaction to the highest-scoring team in the NBA. “It’s real. You really feel their joy when you talk to them… We love them dearly and we’re happy to be able to bring them some joy.”
Sabonis joined Oscar Robertson as the only player in franchise history to record at least 15 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists in a game. Robertson did it 15 times for the Cincinnati Royals.
Harrison Barnes scored 27 points and De’Aaron Fox added 24.
“They made a lot of 3’s in transition,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. “We are a relief team and we are going to give up some, but too many.”
At 11:09 a.m. Malik Monk, Chimezie Metu, Tari Eason and Garrison Mathews were all ejected. Monk and Mathews went face to face after Monk made a foul during a quick break.
“I had no problem with it,” Barnes said of the altercation. “At the end of the day that’s the fight we need as a team, that’s the fight we need this season and that’s the fight we need for the playoffs.”
Jalen Green and Jabari Smith Jr. scored 27 points each for the Rockets (10-32). They have lost nine straight games and 14 out of 15.
“Only my teammates who trust me,” Smith, the No. 3 pick, said of his career night. “I’m trying to get to the basket more and try to expand my game a little bit.”