De'Aaron Fox Excels in Sacramento Kings Loss to Utah Jazz

The Sacramento Kings fell 128-120 to the Utah Jazz on Monday night, but it wasn't for lack of effort on the part of their newly-minted All-Star De'Aaron Fox. The former fifth-overall pick shredded the Jazz for 37 points, four rebounds, seven assists, and one steal in a tightly-contested losing effort.

Fox hit an impressive 14 of his 21 field goal attempts, including six of nine from three. It was his 25th 30+ point game this season. For the season, he's averaging career highs in points per game (25.5), rebounds per game (4.2), and true shooting percentage (.602) over 64 appearances. His progress is a big reason why the Kings lead the NBA in points per game (121.0) and offensive rating (119.4).

Despite the loss, the Kings are a surprising 43-28 and third in the Western Conference. They're poised to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 season, breaking the longest active postseason drought in the NBA. Their young core of Fox and Domantas Sabonis appears to have pulled them out of mediocrity, but it remains to be seen just how high the Kings can climb. If Fox (25 years old) and Sabonis (26 years old) continue to improve, the sky could be the limit for this team.

The Kings are back in action later tonight against the Boston Celtics.

Photo Credit: © Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports