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What we learned as Fox, Domas power Kings' statement win vs. Bucks

What we learned as Fox, Domas power Kings' statement win vs. Bucks originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SACRAMENTO – Domantas Sabonis had 22 points,11 rebounds and eight assists to out-duel Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks while sparking the Kings to a 129-94 victory Tuesday at Golden 1 Center.

De’Aaron Fox added 29 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Malik Monk had another strong game off the bench and scored 25. Harrison Barnes added 16 points and six rebounds, and Kevin Huerter scored 11 points.

The Kings (37-27) got back to .500 and took over sole possession of the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. Sacramento also pulled within one-half game of the idle Phoenix Suns for the No. 6 slot.

It was a solid bounce-back for the Kings, who were stunned by the Houston Rockets in a lackluster 112-104 loss on Monday.

The Bucks (42-24), the No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference, had won seven of their previous 10 and beat the Kings in overtime in January.

In the rematch, Sacramento, which had dropped four of its previous seven games, led from wire to wire and were ahead by 28 at one point.

The game was highlighted by a matchup between two of the NBA's best big men. Antetokounmpo, whose teams had won 15 of the 20 previous meetings against Sabonis, also had a double-double with 30 points and 13 rebounds, but the Bucks didn’t have enough support to make it hold up.

Sacramento took control of this one early and never let up. Four of the Kings’ five starters were in double figures before halftime, led by 17 from Monk and 15 from Fox. Huerter also did all of his scoring in the first half while helping the Kings build a 75-56 lead that was never threatened.

The Kings now enter a stretch at home where they can try to gain ground on the Western Conference. Eight of Sacramento’s next 11 games are at Golden 1 Center, where the Kings own an 18-12 record this season.

Here are the takeaways from Tuesday’s game:

Domas goes streaking

Sabonis essentially is an automatic double-double whenever he steps on the court these days.

Sabonis’ latest against the Bucks was his 47th consecutive double-double of the season and broke the Kings franchise record previous held by Hall of Famer Jerry Lucas. Lucas had a string of 46 straight double-doubles during the 1967-68 NBA season.

Sabonis’ current streak is also the longest in the NBA since Kevin Love had double-doubles in 53 consecutive games in 2010-11.

Just as important, Sabonis played turnover-free, a vast improvement over the nine he had two nights earlier against the Bulls.

Keon comes through

Making his fifth start of the season while Keegan Murray nursed an ankle injury, Keon Ellis delivered another steady albeit unspectacular performance -- despite foul trouble -- while confirming his spot as a key player on the Kings' roster.

Ellis hit a handful of shots in the first half but did a good job of getting out running and keeping the ball moving. He scored seven points and finished a team-leading plus-27.

While he has spent most of the season coming off the bench, Ellis has been a good-luck charm of sorts for the Kings when he starts. Sacramento is 5-0 when he does.

Malik's milestone

Monk, the Kings’ top man off the bench all season and a leading contender for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, added to his list of accomplishments with the Kings when he became the franchise leader for most assists by a reserve.

Playing in his second season in Sacramento, Monk dished out five times against the Bucks to give him 634 for his Kings career and pass Bobby Jackson for the record.

Monk’s development is an encouraging sign for the Kings as they prepare to make a second consecutive trip the playoffs following an NBA-record 16-year drought. Fox is averaging a career-high 35.7 minutes a game, second-highest on the team behind Sabonis. Sacramento would prefer to get him some rest before the postseason begins.

It wasn’t a perfect night for Monk. He was whistled for a technical foul in the fourth quarter for arguing over a non-call.