Domantas Sabonis Issues Statement After Besting Full-Strength Mavs

Domantas Sabonis of the Sacramento Kings had some words on the Dallas Mavericks after a Feb. 11 win.

Getty Domantas Sabonis of the Sacramento Kings had some words on the Dallas Mavericks after a Feb. 11 win.

The Dallas Mavericks were unable to do the double over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. They had beaten Sacramento Friday, but came up short in overtime in the second leg of the back-to-back, losing 133-128.

The loss marked the first game for Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic as Mavericks teammates. The two hadn’t gotten to share the floor since Irving was traded from the Brooklyn Nets because Doncic was nursing a heel injury. Dallas’ star pairing combined for 55 points on Saturday, but it ultimately wasn’t enough.

Following the tightly-contested matchup, Kings center Domantas Sabonis, discussed the pride that comes with taking down such a lethal duo.

“They had their full squad, they were excited in that first game,” he said via the Sacramento Kings YouTube channel. “So for us to be able to come out and compete and get this win is definitely big for us. We know we can compete against other playoff teams.”

He also shared with the media, the Kings’ motivation after being bested just a day prior.

“We felt bad. That first quarter wasn’t great. We won every other quarter in that game. We felt like we should’ve put ourselves in a better situation in that game. Even though we rallied back, it’s tough when you’re down 20 in the first quarter. Today we just wanted to come out and be more solid throughout all four quarters.”

"We got big stops at the end when it mattered." | Domantas Sabonis Postgame 02.11.23Domantas Sabonis meets with the media following the Kings win over the Mavericks.2023-02-12T06:50:35Z

DeAaron Fox Sends Strong Message on Kyrie Irving & Luka Doncic

The driving force behind Sacramento’s big win over the Mavs was DeAaron Fox, who caught fire down the stretch. Fox scored 36 points total, 14 of which, came in OT.

After lighting up Kyrie, Luka, and the Mavericks, the Kings star discussed the what goes into defending such a lethal pairing.

“Those two are great players, I think they’ll both be hall of famers. For us, we want to continue to make it tough on them, Fox said via the Sacramento Kings YouTube Channel. “Obviously, if you only have one of those guys, as soon as they (give up the ball) then you try and deny them. But with it being two of those type of players, as a team you have to try and be on a string… They’re going to make tough shots, they’re going to make tough shots every game. But you just want to continue to make that type of stuff beat you… if they’re making tough shots and they beat you then you just dap them up and move on.”

"This was a win we needed and one they really wanted." | De'Aaron Fox Postgame vs. Mavs 02.11.23De'Aaron Fox meets with the media following the Kings OT win over Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and the Dallas Mavericks.2023-02-12T07:07:06Z

DeAaron Fox Discusses Playoff Race with Mavericks

The February 11 matchup between the Kings and Mavericks was a big one. Heading into the game, the two teams were separated by just one game in the Western Conference standings.

Fox detailed his team’s motivation heading into the West showdown with Dallas.

“We were what, a game ahead of them coming into today? So, knowing that this is a win that we needed and one that they really wanted. Just trying to keep home court advantage going into the playoffs is huge.”

Because of the back-to-back format, Saturday’s game mirrored some elements of one in a playoff series. The Sacramento guard highlighted the similarities, citing the adjustments and mindset that his team carried into the matchup with the Mavericks.

“I definitely think it’s up there. Especially with that team and them having Kyrie, it brings like a playoff intensity to the game. For us, it’s great because we played that team yesterday, so it’s going to be kind of similar to when you get into a playoff series. You just try and make adjustments and come back better the next game, and I think we did a good job at that.”

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