Nets forward Mikal Bridges looks on late in the second...

Nets forward Mikal Bridges looks on late in the second half of an NBA game against the Kings at Barclays Center on Thursday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Once again, the Nets had no answer for Domantas Sabonis and the Sacramento Kings.

Sabonis scored 24 points and grabbed 21 rebounds to lead the red-hot Kings to a 101-96 win over the Nets Thursday at the Barclays Center.

The Nets, who trailed by as many as 17, got the game down to two possessions several times in the final quarter but were so challenged on the boards that they couldn’t get closer.

The Nets were outrebounded, 57-41, and had just three offensive rebounds. Sacramento held them without a single fast-break or second-chance point, which according to ESPN no team in the NBA has done since October 2015.

“I think all of our guys need to do a better job of participating,” said Nic Claxton when asked about the rebounds. “It can’t just be two guys. It has to be a five-guy effort. They did a good job of everybody just crashing.

Claxton led the Nets with 14 rebounds. No one else had more than six.

Mikal Bridges led the lets with 23 points, but missed four shots in the final three minutes. Spencer Dinwiddie added 18 and Claxton and Seth Curry both had 14.

De’Aaron Fox, who had a game-winning shot in Chicago on Wednesday, added 18 for Sacramento

The Kings (42-27) have won 10 of their last 12 games since the All-Star break. This win clinched the club’s first winning season since 2005-06.

While the loss was not as embarrassing as the 153-121 blowout the Nets suffered in Sacramento earlier in the year, it might be more costly. The Nets (38-31) are barely hanging on to sixth and final guaranteed playoff spot in the East. The loss dropped them to 1 ½ games behind the fifth-place Knicks who did not play Thursday night. They are now just 1 ½ games ahead of the seventh-place Miami Heat.

“Each game, we have to treat like a playoff game,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said.

The game was the first of a difficult four-game homestand which also includes games against the Denver Nuggets and two consecutive games against the Cleveland Cavaliers. All three of those teams are currently positioned to finish in the top four spots in their respective conferences.

“It’s important in a number of ways,” Vaughn said the homestand. “First of all, just because of where we are in the season and trying to take advantage of every single opportunity. Each game as you see, every night that you watch games, they're all important for some reason or another.

“I think what I’m looking for is we on the road played some really good quarters, we played some great halves also, so can we put four quarters together? That’s what I’m looking for because if you don’t this week, you’ll definitely pay for it. That’s definitely what I’m looking forward to.”

Notes & quotes: Ben Simmons has sat out all 12 games since the All-Star break with left knee and back soreness, but Vaughn said he “is progressing” and the expectation remains that he will play again this season. “We want him back to hoop, he wants to be back to hoop and that is definitely the goal,” Vaughn said . . . Kessler Edwards said “I’ve been looking forward to this game since I got traded.” Edwards finished with 10 points in 24 minutes off the bench . . . According to several published reports, the Nets could be getting some help in the ize department as they are planning to fill their open roster spot by singing 7-2 Moses Brown to a 10-day contract. The spot became available when the team decided not to give Nerlens Noel a second 10-day deal.

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