Fox Calls Game: Kings Win OT Thriller In Orlando Thanks To Last-Second Heroics
It was shaping up to be a finish that Sacramento Kings fans are all too familiar with.
After fighting their way back from a 20-point deficit, the Kings held a 119-113 lead with less than a minute to go as it appeared they were closing in on a 2-1 start to a four-game road trip.
But instead of closing the game out with ease, chaos would ensue.
Sacramento’s defense acted as a revolving door during the final 46 seconds of play as the Magic went on an 8-4 run to trim the deficit to two points. But with the basketball in their possession and just 11.7 seconds to go, all that the Kings needed to do was advance the ball into the front court and draw a foul from Orlando defenders to have a chance at icing the game from the foul line.
Then, the (almost) unthinkable happened.
Kings guard Malik Monk got caught up in a corner as two Magic defenders swarmed, forcing him to throw a cross-court pass that was directed at forward Trey Lyles. The ball skipped off of Lyles’ hands and fell directly into Chuma Okeke’s possession as the Magic forward would effortlessly lay in the game-tying basket with just 2.5 seconds on the clock.
What happened next, you truly have to see it to believe it.
— NBA (@NBA) November 5, 2022
Kings guard De’Aaron Fox did something that you normally see players like Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry do on SportsCenter top-10 highlight reels, and that would be drilling a game-winner from the center-court logo. The shot from 32 feet out feel through, sending the Sacramento bench into a frenzy as Fox was swarmed by his smiling teammates.
“It felt good leaving my hands,” Fox said postgame of his last-second heave. “When the ball’s going in and you have a rhythm, the basket starts looking like the ocean. It feels good to get out of here with a win.”
Fox’s incredible buzzer-beater put the finishing touches on what was a rollercoaster of a basketball game, as the talented guard put on quite a show in his return from a right-knee bone bruise. The 24-year-old scored a season-high 37 points on 14-of-24 shooting from the field to go along with five rebounds and three assists over 40 minutes of play.
Saturday’s game was a special one for Fox and center Domantas Sabonis as the duo were both locked in on the offensive end (well, minus Sabonis’ struggles from the foul line), something that had yet to take place during the first seven games of the regular season.
Sabonis logged his fifth double-double of the season during the win, scoring a season-high 25 points (10-of-14 from the field) to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists over 38 minutes. When Sabonis stays on the floor and out of foul trouble, good things happen for the Kings as their two-time All-Star did a solid job of going at Orlando’s lengthy defenders, although the big man needs to work on his rough free-throw shooting (five-of-12 from the line).
It looked as if Sacramento was going to roll over early after the Magic went up by 20 points during a first half in which they shot 60 percent from the field, but like we have seen on a few occasions this season, head coach Mike Brown and his staff helped make some necessary adjustments at the break.
“Domas taking these young Magic players to school” 😂
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) November 5, 2022
The Kings held Orlando to just 12 points during the third quarter–the least points allowed in a single quarter by Sacramento since December 7, 2016, vs Dallas) while players like Fox and Sabonis continued to get their looks on the offensive end. After outscoring Orlando 36-12 in the third, the Kings took a six-point lead into the fourth.
Young Magic duo Paolo Banchero (career-high 33 points) and Bol Bol (career-high 23 points) gave the Kings fits all night, but Fox and Sabonis came up big when Sacramento needed them most on Saturday during a game that they needed to win.
Fox was the difference-maker in this one as the speedy guard scored 28 points during the second half. Even though things were far from perfect on Saturday night, the Kings will board a long flight back to California with smiles on their faces thanks to the former Kentucky guard’s last-second heroics.
- Malik Monk continued his streak of strong performances as the guard scored 15 points on five-of-ten shooting from the field and three-of-seven from beyond the three-point arc. Monk racked up five assists during the win, his fourth game this year with 5+ assists.
- Trey Lyles had another solid night off of the bench as the forward hit four of his seven attempts from beyond the arc to score 15 points over 30 minutes of playing time.
- Sacramento shook off a rough first half to finish the game having shot 50 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
- The Orlando Magic entered play on Saturday afternoon averaging 108.6 points per game (24th in the NBA) and in possession of a 108.8 offensive rating (25th in the NBA). After 24 minutes of play against the Kings defense, the Magic held an 18-point lead at the half-time break after scoring 65 points on 60 percent shooting from the field.
- Orlando controlled the paint, as they used their length to outscore the Kings 78-60 in the paint. Sacramento is going to need to look for upgrades in the rim-protection department come trade season.
- Free-throws. Free-throws. Free-throws. 17/26 (65%)
- Harrison Barnes‘ struggles continue. HB finished with nine points on four-of-10 shooting over 35 minutes.
- Keegan Murray looks to be hitting a rookie wall early as the fourth-overall pick scored just three points on one-of-four shooting over 24 minutes. Murray has failed to score in double-figures for two-straight games and has fallen out of Mike Brown’s closing rotation.
De’Aaron Fox (right knee bone bruise) returned to action following a one-game absence.
Sacramento will hope to avenge October 23rd’s 130-125 loss against the Golden State Warriors when they return to Chase Center on Monday night.
The Warriors have fallen on hard times since defeating the Kings two weeks ago as they have posted a 1-6 record over their past seven games. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins all sat out of Golden State’s game in New Orleans on Friday, meaning that Sacramento will be facing a well-rested Warriors team when they take the floor on Monday.
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Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
Monday, November 7th – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7:00 PM PST
Wednesday, November 9th – Sacramento Kings vs Cleveland Cavaliers – 7:00 PM PST
Friday, November 11th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7:30 PM PST
Sunday, November 13th – Sacramento Kings vs Golden State Warriors – 6:00 PM PST
Tuesday, November 15th – Sacramento Kings vs Brooklyn Nets – 7:00 PM PST