NBA

Hield, Fox Combine For 50 Points In Nail-Biting Win Over Heat

Jan 2, 2022, 5:51 PM | Updated: 6:23 pm
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 19: Buddy Hield #24 of the Sacramento Kings celebrating making a ...
(Photo by Kavin Mistry/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kavin Mistry/Getty Images)

De’Aaron Fox took over in the fourth quarter as Sacramento was able to start off the new year with a win

It all came down to one stop.

The Sacramento Kings held a narrow two-point lead with six seconds remaining, but Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat had one last chance to force overtime or break the hearts of fans in attendance on Sunday afternoon.

Butler, who sank a game-winner against the Kings last season, would not succeed in converting another late-game bucket as his attempt rimmed out to give Sacramento a 115-113 win.

With the win, the Kings (16-22) snap Miami’s five-game winning streak and improve to 3-1 over their past four games.

Harrison Barnes and the Kings offense quickly jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter after using a 13-0 run to create some space between themselves and Miami during the opening minutes of the game.

The Heat were able to cut the deficit to 26-18 heading into the second quarter, but Barnes (eight points) was the driving force behind a 52-percent shooting opening period for Sacramento.

Buddy Hield and Damian Jones both tapped into their offense during the second quarter as Hield finished the half with 12 points on four-of-six shooting from the field and three-of-five from downtown. It was the first time that the guard had scored double-digit points in a first half since December 11th in Cleveland.

Jones tied his career-high for most points scored in a half as he entered the break with 14 points (six-of-nine shooting) and seven rebounds as the Kings held onto a slim 61-57 lead after 24 minutes of play.

The efforts of Hield and rookie guard Davion Mitchell kept Miami from taking a double-digit lead late in the third quarter as the two guards scored 10-straight points to tie things up at 90-90 entering the final period.

After Miami quickly took a 97-90 lead, Hield remained red-hot from the perimeter by knocking down two more triples during a 9-2 Kings run to tie the game at 99-99 with less than nine minutes remaining.

Back-to-back floaters from De’Aaron Fox put Sacramento in front 106-103 with five minutes remaining to set up a nail-biting finish at Golden 1 Center.

Tyrese Haliburton’s floater gave the Kings a 113-109 lead with just over a minute remaining, but Heat center Omer Yurtseven drilled a jumper to make it a two-point game. Following a poor possession from the Kings, Jimmy Butler drove the lane and tied the game at 113-113 with 26.6 seconds to go.

Fox was fouled during his drive to the basket and was able to convert both free-throws to give Sacramento a 115-113 lead with just 6.2 seconds on the clock. Butler was able to get free from the Kings defense and get off a clear look as the horn sounded, but the shot didn’t fall as the Kings were able to begin the year 2022 with a win in front of their home fans.

Buddy Hield was able to to knock off some rust in a big way on Sunday as the veteran sharpshooter converted seven of his 14 attempts from long-distance.

“You leave him in the game for that reason,” Kings head coach Alvin Gentry said of Hield’s ability to get hot from three-point range. “If you’re only second to Steph Curry in most three-pointers in the game, you must be doing something right.”

With Hield feeling it from the perimeter, De’Aaron Fox taking over in the fourth (12 points) and Tyrese Haliburton racking up another game with 10-plus assists, Sacramento was able to get some major production from their guards during the victorious effort.

Entering play on Sunday, the Kings were in a tie for the 10th spot in the Western Conference standings. By defeating Miami, Sacramento now is in sole possession of the final spot in the Play-In race.

Not a bad start to the new year.

Quick Stats

  • De’Aaron Fox tallied a new career-high for made free-throws in a game as the star guard went 14-for-15 on the night to finish with 24 points over 35 minutes. The 24-year-old grabbed six rebounds, dished six assists and swiped two steals to round out an efficient night.
  • Damian Jones posted his first double-double of the season and his second of his career during an 18-point, 10-rebound performance. With starting center Richaun Holmes sidelined due to Health & Safety protocols, the 26-year-old had a big night at a time when his team really needed production from the middle.
  • For the fourth game in-a-row, Tyrese Haliburton finished with 10 or more assists on Sunday as the second-year guard dished out 12 assists. The young guard has racked up 103 assists over his last 10 games and is the first King to post 10-straight games with eight-plus points and seven-plus assists since Spud Webb did so in April of 1994.

Injury Updates

Kings guard Terence Davis sat out Friday’s game due to ankle soreness that he felt while going through pregame warmups. Davis was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game vs Miami before being ruled out moments before tip-off.

Davis is considered day-to-day going forward.

Richaun Holmes entered COVID-19 Health & Safety protocols on Saturday afternoon. Holmes will be able to return to basketball activities after registering successive negative COVID-19 tests 24 hours apart.

The 28-year-old center has struggled to get back into a rhythm after suffering two separate injuries to his right eye in late November and early December. After missing 10 of 14 games, Holmes has averaged 6.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game over just 22.0 minutes per game, well below his season-averages of 12.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 26.1 minutes per game.

Robert Woodard II (non-COVID illness) was inactive during Sunday’s game. He is considered day-to-day.

Coming Up

For the first time since December 20th, the Kings will hit the road for a short trip to Crypto.com Arena (formerly STAPLES Center) for a matchup with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

In the first matchup between the two teams since a triple-overtime thriller on November 26th, the Lakers routed Sacramento 117-92 at Golden 1 Center on November 30th.

You can find all of your Kings vs Lakers coverage right here on Sports 1140 KHTK beginning at 6:00pm PST on Game Night with Scott Marsh and Henry ‘The High Flyer’ Turner prior to a 7:30pm PST tip-off from sunny Los Angeles.

Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule

  • January 4th @ Los Angeles Lakers
  • January 5th vs Atlanta Hawks
  • January 7th @ Denver Nuggets
  • January 9th @ Portland Trail Blazers
  • January 10th vs Cleveland Cavaliers

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