Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5) is defended by Brooklyn Nets guard Patty Mills at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn on Mon Feb 14, 2022 (AP News photo)
Mon, Feb 14 at 7:52 PM
By Jessica Kwong
BROOKLYN, NY. — The Brooklyn Nets handed the Sacramento Kings a 109-85 Valentine’s Day loss at Barclays Center despite missing three of their stars.
Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons were absent on Monday but Seth Curry on his first night as a member of the Nets scored 23 points to snap Brooklyn’s 11-game losing streak and end the Kings’ modest two-game winning streak.
De’Aaron Fox had a game-high 26 points, Davion Mitchell scored 13 points and Donte DiVincenzo contributed 12 points. But the Kings as a team shot just 34.4% from the field.
The Kings never led and the Nets had 19-point leads in the first, third and final quarters.
Domantas Sabonis, who recently joined the Kings after a six-player trade with the Indiana Pacers, failed to impress as he did in his first two games wearing purple. Sabronis scored just 9 points on four-of-11 shooting in 26 minutes.
Still, Kings interim coach Alvin Gentry thinks Sabonis — who went into Monday’s game averaging 18.9 points, 12.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 46 games — has boosted the team.
“We have played a lot of our offense through him,” Gentry said. “I think our guys have really enjoyed playing with him on the floor. I think our cuts have been much better because I think they anticipate getting the ball on the scoring cuts that they make. He’s just been a real stabilizer for us, really.”
After beating the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Washington Wizards to improve to 4-2 in the six games before Brooklyn, Gentry had high hopes for the matchup against the short-handed Nets.
“These were games that we were losing early on and all the way up until this week really,” Gentry said. “I hope this is a sign of good things to come.”
It didn’t turn out that way on Monday. The Kings were limited to 25.7% (9-for-35) from the three-point line. Meanwhile, the Nets shot 51.2% from the field and 34.6% from 3.
The Kings (22-37) are 13th in the western conference. They continue their road trip on Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls in the last game of the first half of the season. Tipoff is at 5 p.m.