A triple-double from Domantas Sabonis wasn’t enough for the Kings to cap a season-long, seven-game road trip with a sixth win.
Sacramento shot under 50 percent from the floor and under 40 from beyond the arc, as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ dynamic attack powered the Eastern Conference team past the Kings 136-110 on Monday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
The loss, however, had a silver lining worth mentioning for Harrison Barnes.
In speaking to reporters following Sacramento’s the last game of a two-week road stretch, the Kings forward, who ended with a team-high 22 points, applauded his team’s performance away from home, while not forgetting to give Cleveland its flowers.
“Yeah, obviously, you have to give them credit,” Barnes told reporters. “They came out and just played harder than us. I think when you leave a team like that, especially when their shooters get going in a rhythm like that, it’s going to be a tough game to win.
“But I think tonight’s performance aside, I think this road trip we did a good job trying to be consistent. You know, [going] into these road trips, you try to finish over .500, so I thought we accomplished that. That’s something we can feel good about.”
Road trips like the one that the Kings just wrapped up are known for giving teams the opportunity to bond and build positive chemistry on and off the hardwood.
To Barnes, Sacramento did exactly that while managing to win five of its seven games, losing only to the Cavaliers and the Miami Heat — two playoff-contending teams in the East.
“I mean, it’s been a fun road trip,” Barnes added. “I don’t think anyone is going to lie about that, but I think the biggest thing is having fun while you’re winning. I think that solidifies everything else. When you’re not playing your best basketball, everyone just feels like, ‘Man, there’s just juice we’re leaving on the table, wins we’re leaving on the table.’
“I think when we look at this road trip, the two losses that we had… I mean, those teams, they beat us flat out. I think we can feel good about these wins and come back home just refocused for that.”
There’s a lot to be proud of and to build on as the Kings transition to a two-game spell at home.
That seems to be the message going around Sacramento’s locker room after an early-week loss.