Domas' career rebounding performance powers Kings to gritty road win

Domas' career rebounding performance powers Kings to gritty road win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Domantas Sabonis placed himself in rarified air with a dominant performance in the Kings' gritty 103-94 win over a short-handed Memphis Grizzlies squad on Monday night at FedexForum.

Sabonis recorded 20 points, a career-high 26 rebounds and five assists while shooting 10-for-11 from the floor against Memphis, joining Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history to record at least 20 points, 25 rebounds and five assists in a single game while shooting 90 percent or better from the field.

After the game, Kings coach Mike Brown heaped praise on his All-NBA big man for the gaudy numbers he posted in Thursday's win over the Grizzlies.

"Domas, he just had a monster night. That's why he's in the All-Star [conversation], that's why he's in the MVP conversation," Brown told reporters. "The numbers that he put up, 20 [points], 26 [rebounds], five [assists], 10-for-11 from the field, that's Wilt Chamberlain type numbers.

"Obviously, Domas, I'm not saying he's Wilt, but to be mentioned in that category for putting up the statistical line that he did, that's just absolutely amazing."

Sabonis boasts a well-deserved reputation as one of the league's best rebounders, taking home the rebounding crown during the 2022-23 NBA season after leading the association with 12.3 boards per game.

When asked what makes Sabonis so efficient on the boards, Brown pointed to a handful of little details that add up to a total package that allows the All-Star center to consistently clean the glass at an elite level.

"The first thing is he's got a great nose for the ball. Then, he's strong. He can take a hit, not be knocked off balance and he knows when to go get it," Brown explained. "That's part of having a nose for it … He's a quick jumper.

"He may not be a high jumper, but he's a pretty quick jumper, sometimes he tips [the ball] to himself and he'll still go get it. All those little things bode for him being a tremendous rebounder and we need that, especially for our size as a team."

Despite injuries forcing Memphis to have only eight available players for its matchup with Sacramento, the Grizzlies came out firing, building a 15-point lead at the end of the first quarter after shooting 7-for-10 from beyond the arc in the game's opening frame.

Further fanning the flame was Sacramento's ice-cold start from the 3-point line, where the Kings missed their first 10 attempts from deep.

The Kings rebounded with a strong second quarter that cut the Grizzlies' halftime lead to 50-47, with Sabonis logging a double-double before the second quarter concluded.

Sabonis' effort in Thursday's win was not only heroic, but remarkably consistent throughout the contest as the big man logged a game-high 38 minutes, falling two points shy of recording a double-double in both the first half and the second half separately.

Sacramento ultimately pulled away down the stretch, fending off a hard-fought effort by a depleted Memphis squad to give the Kings their fourth consecutive win, including a perfect 3-0 start to their current seven-game road trip.

Sabonis and the Kings return to action on Wednesday night to face the Miami Heat at Kaseya Center.