by Charlie O. Mallonee
With 4.3-seconds left to play on Thursday night and the Kings in possession of the ball, Sacramento trailed the Heat 88-87 on the road in Miami. This is the kind of situation that Kings have faced and failed in as they try to find success as a team in the rebuilding process. It was a different ending last night.
Bogdan Bogdanovic took a 20-foot step back jump shot that missed and bounced above the rim. De’Aaron Fox ran in from the left angle and slammed the rebound home to give the Kings an 89-88 lead. The clock stopped with 3.3-seconds remaining to allow Olynyk to enter the game for Miami and Temple to come on the floor the Kings.
Miami’s Josh Richardson missed a 21-foot jump shot with less than a second left on the clock and the Kings won their second consecutive game 89-88. Both of the wins have come in the “Sunshine State” of Florida.
The key to the win for the Kings was their ability to keep the game close. They did allow the Heat to open up a 12-point lead at one time but for the most part, it was a seesaw battle. There were 19 lead changes and the game was tied seven times in what turned out to be an exciting 48-minutes if you are a Kings fan.
Sacramento also broke a destructive pattern that has plagued them this season of falling behind in the third quarter and then having to make a major effort just catch up in the final period. On Thursday, Kings trailed by just one point heading into the fourth quarter.
The Kings dressed 10 players versus the Heat and head coach Dave Joerger used all 10 players in the game. Sacramento held out Vince Carter (who started in Orlando), George Hill and Georgios Papgiannis. Rumors are circulating that Hill may have a toe problem and is not being held out because of a possible trade.
- De’Aaron Fox gets the Star of the Game billing for the Kings. Not only did he score the game-winning basket but he added 14 points, four assists and three rebounds in his 29-plus minutes on the floor.
- Buddy Hield really battled Fox for top billing on Thursday night. Hield receives Co-Star designation for scoring a game-high 24 points. He hit 10-of-15 field goal attempts and went 4-for-7 from 3-point range. Hield scored 13 of his points in the second quarter.
- Veteran Zach Randolph is also going to receive a best supporting player award for recording a double-double against the Heat. Z-Bo scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 28-minutes of playing time.
- Goran Dragic was the Star of the Game for Miami. He was the top scorer for the Heat with 23 points shooting 8-for-14 overall for the game. Dragic hit 3-of-5 from long-range and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
- Co-Star status goes to guard Wayne Ellington who put up 20 points against the Kings. He converted 7-of-16 field goal attempts and six of those conversions were 3-point baskets.
By the Numbers
- The Kings shot 46.9-percent (38-for-81) from the floor versus the Heat. They only attempted 12 three-point shots but they hit five of them.
- SAC was out-rebounded 46-38 but managed to outscore Miami on second-chance scoring opportunities 8-7.
- The Kings dished out 21 assists and turned the ball over 13 times which is below the desired 2-to-1 ratio. They gave up 13 points to the Heat off those 13 TOV’s.
- Sacramento recorded six blocked shots in the game. Five Kings players posted a block and Cauley-Stein had two blocks.
- The Heat shot just 37.8-percent (31-for-82) for the game. If a team shoots under 40-percent in the NBA, there is not much of chance that they will come away with a win.
- Miami decided to attack the Kings by taking as many shots from beyond the 3-point line as possible. They attempted 34 long-range field goals but hit just 12 for a 35.3 shooting percentage.
- The posted 19 assists and made 17 turnovers for a very unacceptable 1-to-1 ratio. The Kings scored 20 points off those 17 miscues.
Unless the Kings request to have the game on Sunday moved to any city in Florida, they will face the Spurs in San Antonio on Sunday at 4:00 pm PST. The team is hoping to take advantage of the good “mojo” they have enjoyed in Florida by staying in Miami on Friday and waiting to travel to Texas until Saturday.
The Heat will host the Hornets on Saturday night in Miami.