Domantas Sabonis helps Kings rout Nuggets

Domantas Sabonis had 17 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists for his 16th triple-double this season, Malik Monk scored 23 points off the bench and the host Sacramento Kings cruised to a 135-106 victory Friday night over the Denver Nuggets.

Sabonis now leads the NBA in triple-doubles this season, breaking a tie with Nuggets star Nikola Jokic, who had 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the loss.

Jokic played 30 minutes despite getting up gingerly and holding his back after taking a spill following a successful layup in the first quarter.

He was given a back brace and taken to the locker room shortly thereafter, but was able to return with 6:39 left in the second quarter and played his normal second-half minutes until the game got out of hand.

Seeking a fourth straight win, the Nuggets went up by as many as nine points in the first quarter before Sacramento outscored Denver 74-51 in the second and third quarters combined.

The biggest push came, coincidentally, shortly after Jokic returned to the court in the second quarter. Leading 50-49 with 5:07 left in quarter, the Kings finished the half on a 17-8 run, with Sabonis and Keegan Murray each contributing seven points.

Denver, which also lost on the road to Sacramento in December, got no closer than six in the second half.

The triple-double was the 48th of Sabonis’ career. He has already surpassed his previous single-season career-high of 14, set last year, when Jokic led the NBA with 29.

De’Aaron Fox had 15 points and 10 assists for Sacramento, which shot 58.6 percent en route to snapping a two-game losing streak. Murray finished with 17 points, Trey Lyles had 15 and Kevin Huerter chipped in with 12 for the Kings.

Aaron Gordon had 14 points, Christian Braun scored 13, Jamal Murray added 12 and Justin Holiday chipped in with 10 for the Nuggets, who gave Michael Porter Jr. the game off on the second night of a back-to-back set, citing a sore right knee.