Potential All-NBA Western Conference big has historical streak snapped in ugly loss

Feb 28, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) controls the ball
Feb 28, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) controls the ball / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

As the NBA playoffs creep closer and closer and the regular season grinds to a halt, we start to look more closely at potential postseason matchups and awards. For most of the season, the Sacramento Kings have been safely inside the top six seeds in the West, looking like a playoff team, and Domantas Sabonis has been playing like an All-NBA center.

There are a lot of clear parallels between the Kings and the Denver Nuggets; both are small-ish markets with a decent basketball history. Both teams have been on the upswing lately, and both have been highlighted by explosive offenses led by a do-it-all European big man, and an explosive guard. 

For the Nuggets that’s been Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray and for the Kings it’s Domas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox. But the Nuggets have clearly entered a higher echelon as true contenders after winning it all last year, whereas the Kings are still plucky upstarts who seemed happy just to be there last season.

A historical season for Domantas Sabonis

This season hasn’t been quite as joyous in Sacramento, but the team has still been very solid. Perhaps the biggest bright spot they’ve had going is the historical play of Sabonis, as he set a new record for most consecutive double-doubles.

Sabonis saw his record streak climb all the way to a remarkable 61 straight games before it was snapped on Tuesday night in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Crazily enough, the failing for Domas was in points, as he only accumulated 8 points on the night to go along with 13 rebounds and 5 assists.

Season on the brink for the Kings

It was a tough night all around for the Kings as they blew a 20-point lead, eventually losing to the Thunder in a pivotal game for the Western Conference standings. The Kings now face an uphill battle to get out of the play-in tournament and are clinging to the eighth seed ahead of the Lakers and Warriors.

The Kings, of course, have also lost key role players Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter to injuries, and this is looking more and more like a lost season, sadly. But still, Sabonis deserves his flowers for an incredible record. He’s not on the same tier as Jokic, and he never will be. But what he did is still incredibly impressive and he should be commended.