The Kings' rollercoaster season continued Monday night with a 119-105 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. After taking a 24-point drubbing at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, the Kings ran away from the Cavaliers for a 14-point victory two days later.
De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton put on a show as Sacramento's starting backcourt, and Richaun Holmes added a monster double-double to help the Kings (18-25) finish their season-long six game road trip with a 3-3 split.
Collin Sexton and JaVale McGee put up solid numbers for the Cavs (16-27), but they struggled to keep up with the pace of the Kings’ offense.
Here are three takeaways from the Kings ending the trip on a high note.
With LaMelo Ball likely out for the season, the door is wide open for Tyrese Haliburton to swoop in and win NBA Rookie of the Year. He’ll still have plenty of competition with the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards heating up, but Haliburton’s move to the starting lineup should help his cause.
Against the Cavs, Haliburton came out hot early, scoring 10 of his career-high 25 points in the first quarter. He helped space the floor for Fox, and then got his teammates open looks.
It will be a battle down the stretch, but Haliburton definitely has a shot after winning back-to-back Western Conference Rookie of the Month awards.
Battle in the backcourt
Fox and Sexton are two of the most exciting young guards in the NBA. They matched up on plenty of possessions Monday, and Fox came out on top.
The Kings’ speedster blew right through the Cavs defense for one layup after another. He finished with 30 points on 13-for-23 shooting and chipped in six rebounds, six assists and two steals in the win.
Sexton had a quiet night, hitting the Kings for 15 points and seven assists.
Richaun Holmes continued his hot streak, notching his 16th double-double of the season. Teams are chasing after the 27-year-old center hard heading into the trade deadline, but the Kings have yet to bite.
Against the Cavs, Holmes posted 17 points, 16 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in 35 minutes. He came into the night second in the NBA in field-goal percentage to Cleveland’s Jared Allen. After an 8-of-9 shooting night, Holmes moved back into first place.