Hield Comes Up Clutch In Kings Win Over T-Wolves
With the game on the line late, Buddy Hield came through to give Sacramento the win on Wednesday night
When the Sacramento Kings trailed the Minnesota Timberwolves by 11 points with six minutes remaining on Wednesday night, something happened over the final stretch of the game that had not been seen this season over 29 home games:
Kings fans injected life into Golden 1 Center.
Behind an active crowd, Sacramento would finish the game on a 26-13 run to hold off the Minnesota Timberwolves, winning by a final of 128-125 to complete the second night of a back-to-back.
As was the case on Tuesday night, the Kings offense was off to a very fast start on Wednesday night.
Buddy Hield was on fire in the first quarter, scoring 12 points on a perfect five-of-five from the field and two-of-two from beyond the three-point arc.
Hield, Harrison Barnes (nine points) and De’Aaron Fox (eight points) paced the Kings to a 44-point first period, giving the team its second 40-point first quarter in as many nights.
The first quarter also featured a massive jam from Chimezie Metu, who has become somewhat of a human highlight reel as of late.
Hield would score 21 points in the first half to lead the Kings to another 70-point half as Sacramento would take a 70-59 lead into the break.
From the second the third quarter began, the tides immediately shifted towards Minnesota’s favor. The Timberwolves would take advantage of a horrific Kings defense, as they would outscore Sacramento 39-25 in the third period to take a three-point lead into the fourth.
Minnesota took a 113-102 lead with 6:29 remaining before the Kings decided to rejoin the program.
For the first time since the second quarter, the Kings would show life during a key stretch of play in the fourth with Tyrese Haliburton providing a huge spark.
Along with a banked-in three from Buddy Hield, Haliburton would knock down back-to-back triples to help Sacramento erase the 11-point deficit and take a 116-115 lead with 3:26 remaining.
Both teams would trade baskets until Minnesota would create some separation on a triple from Karl Anthony-Towns to give the Wolves a 125-121 lead with 51 seconds remaining.
De’Aaron Fox would draw a foul and got to the line where he would make it a two-point game with 46 seconds remaining. The Timberwolves would fail to score on their next possession, giving the Kings a chance to tie or take the lead.
With time winding down on both the game clock and shot clock, Hield received a pass from Harrison Barnes and let a three-point attempt loose with zero hesitation.
The shot would fall and Golden 1 Center’s 1,600-plus fans in attendance would let out a much-needed, greatly missed roar as Hield would run down the floor after giving the Kings a 126-125 lead with 8.8 seconds remaining.
After the timeout, the Timberwolves would get one true final crack at taking the lead as Towns would drive the lane and run into very solid defense from Kings center Damian Jones, as Towns’ attempt would not fall and De’Aaron Fox would come down with the rebound.
Fox sank both free-throws to give Sacramento a 128-125 lead, and out of the timeout Jones would tip the inbound pass to let the remaining 1.4 seconds tick off the clock to give the Kings the win.
It was Sacramento’s second win over their past 12 games, but one that was important due to the fact that Kings fans returned to Golden 1 Center for the first time since March of 2020.
The energy was noteworthy, as the first 29 home games of the season were more comparable to an early-morning AAU game rather than an NBA game.
The limited crowd made themselves heard late, giving the Kings support that they have lacked–and most likely needed–since the season began.
Welcome back, Kings fans.
That one was for you.
Rounding out the box score
After initially coming into Wednesday’s game with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over him due to reports of a sore ankle, De’Aaron Fox was able to shake off his rough game from Tuesday and get back to business.
Fox topped the 30-point mark for the 18th time this season, finishing with 30 points (13-of-14 from the free-throw line), five rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a blocked shot over 39 minutes.
The 23-year-old’s free-throw shooting was crucial in the win, as Fox has greatly improved his shooting from the charity stripe over his last five games, converting 32 of his 37 attempts (86%).
Buddy Hield had one of his most exciting games of the season, finishing with 29 points (11-of-16 FG, seven-of-11 3PT), six rebounds, five assists and a blocked shot.
‘Buddy Buckets’ came up clutch late in the win, sinking a game-winning triple to put the cherry on top of his strong performance.
For the third game in-a-row, Harrison Barnes scored 20 points or more, finishing with 22 points on seven-of-14 shooting from the field and four-of-nine from downtown. ‘Black Falcon’ did a little bit of everything in the win, dishing out seven assists to go along with six rebounds.
Tyrese Haliburton turned it on in the fourth quarter, knocking down two huge triples while also playing solid defense down the stretch to do his part in securing the victory.
The rookie scored 16 points (six-of-nine from the field; four-of-six from three-point range), grabbed three boards an dished out six assists.
Damian Jones was an unsung hero on Wednesday, as the reserve center provided the team with a solid presence in the middle while Richaun Holmes (hamstring) remained out due to injury.
“Jones staying ready gave us a big boost in the second-half,” head coach Luke Walton said postgame. “He was really good for us tonight.”
The veteran center finished with eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks over 22 productive minutes.
Chimezie Metu added 10 points off of the bench in another productive showing as he continues to prove that he deserves minutes at the power forward position.
During his pregame media session, head coach Luke Walton shared that center Richaun Holmes participated in basketball activities on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a right hamstring strain on April 12th.
Walton was optimistic that Wednesday’s workout–and the fact that the Kings have three full off-days before facing Golden State on Sunday night–could bode well for the big man’s return, although the team won’t know of Holmes’ status until after the break.
Marvin Bagley III still has no timetable for a return, but Walton added that the team is expected to release an official medical update
Sacramento will enjoy their longest gap in between games this season, as they will be off from Thursday-Saturday before facing the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night at the Chase Center.
The teams have split their season series thus far, with the Kings winning the most recent matchup on March 25th by a final of 141-119 at Golden 1 Center.
De’Aaron Fox established a new career-high with a 44-point (16-of-22 from the field) showing in the Kings win.
Be sure to tune in for all of the action right here on Sports 1140 KHTK, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30pm PST prior to a 7:00pm PST tip-off from Sacramento.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
- April 25 @ Golden State Warriors
- April 26 vs Dallas Mavericks
- April 28 vs Utah Jazz
- April 30 @ Los Angeles Lakers
- May 2 @ Dallas Mavericks