De’Aaron Fox Comes Up Clutch In Win Over Grizzlies

Jan 26, 2019, 12:00 AM
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

by Franklin Cartoscelli – Sports 1140 KHTK

With the game on the line and the ball in his hands, he knew exactly what to do.

De’Aaron Fox hit a difficult step-back jumper to give Sacramento a four-point advantage with 11 seconds left, ultimately icing the game as the Kings defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 99-96 at FedEx Forum.

Fox had two massive plays late in the game on Friday night, starting with a defensive stop on Memphis point guard Mike Conley Jr.

Up 94-92 with 41 seconds remaining, the second-year guard out of Kentucky played intense on-ball defense to force Conley into making an errant pass that was stolen by Marvin Bagley III. Fox was fouled seconds later, hitting both free throws to give Sacramento a 96-92 lead with 39 seconds left.

After a layup by Memphis guard Shelvin Mack cut the Kings lead to 96-94, Fox found himself with the ball. And like we saw many times last season, he delivered. Fox finished with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.

With the win over Memphis, Sacramento climbed over the .500 mark to improve to 25-24. Sitting two games back from playoff position, the Kings will look to split their six game roadtrip in the finale on Sunday against the eighth-seeded Clippers.

With Friday’s win Sacramento claims the season series victory over the Grizzlies as they bested Memphis three out of four times this season. The last time the Kings won a season series against the Grizz was the 2006-07 season.

Nemanja Bjelica had a huge game for the Kings, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Bjelica, who missed the game in Toronto for rest purposes, did not look rusty as he shot 6-of-10 from the field including 4-of-4 from the three point line. The rest definitely benefited the big man from Serbia, who had been averaging 3.9 points and 3.5 rebounds per game over his last eight games.

Buddy Hield had 26 points and 7 rebounds, including shooting 6-of-9 from the three point land. Buddy is shooting the three-ball at an unbelievable clip, holding a league fifth best 45.5 percent three-point shooting percentage. Hield is on pace to make 275 three pointers this season, which would be the fifth most threes in any season in NBA history.

As for the Kings big-men, Willie Cauley-Stein and Marvin Bagley III had major contributions in the road win.

Bagley, who slid back into the bench role, had 14 points and 9 rebounds to go along with a steal and blocked shot. Bagley did a great job defensively in the closing seconds as he took over for Bjelica after he received his sixth foul. Cauley-Stein battled foul trouble down the stretch, but finished with 11 points, 6 rebounds and a game-high five steals.

Former Kings forward Omri Casspi led the way for Memphis with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting, and Mike Conley Jr. had 16 points and 9 assists in the loss.

Coming Up

The Kings head to Los Angeles to face the Clippers in the sixth and final game of this roadtrip.

Sacramento has struggled this season against the Clips, dropping both games so far. Montrezl Harrell loves playing against the Kings, averaging 23 points and 7.5 rebounds per game against Sacramento this season.

Catch all the action right here on KHTK Sports 1140, starting with pregame coverage at 12pm and tip-off at 12:30pm.

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