Mike Brown disagrees with crucial calls in final seconds of Kings, Suns

Feb 14, 2024, 1:56 PM | Updated: May 22, 2024, 10:39 pm

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns drives against Harrison Barnes #40 of the Sacramento Kings duri...

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 13: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns drives against Harrison Barnes #40 of the Sacramento Kings during the second half at Footprint Center on February 13, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. Mike Brown NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Facing a three-point deficit with 32.8 seconds remaining, Sacramento head coach Mike Brown elected to have Malik Monk inbound the ball to De’Aaron Fox. Fox quickly ran an empty side pick-and-roll with Domantas Sabanis, to which the Phoenix Suns responded by doubling.

Fox managed a smooth wrap-around pass to Sabonis, who was rolling to the basket with no Phoenix player in front of him but Devin Booker trailing behind. Sensing the opposition and being aware of the three-point margin, Sabonis pump faked, and Booker jumped.

He landed on Sabonis’s back, and Sacramento’s big went back up, converting the layup with no whistle from the officials.

Kings’ head coach Mike Brown didn’t hesitate to express his frustration postgame. “That no-call, I’m going to be interested to see the two-minute report because if they say that’s not a foul on Booker, I’m really lost,” he said.

To add to Brown’s confusion, the last two-minute report did not list any incorrect calls or no-calls in the final two minutes of Tuesday night’s matchup in Phoenix. The report attempted to justify the lack of a call in their report.

 Booker (PHX) is drawn into the air on the pump fake towards Sabonis (SAC), but the resulting contact is marginal and does not affect Sabonis’s ability to enter his shooting motion.

In his postgame rant, Coach Brown repeatedly referenced the subsequent off-ball foul called on Keegan Murray seconds before an inbound pass was made seconds later.

“If you’re going to call that foul, you’ve got to call the other foul, because Booker was about to be wide-open because Keegan wasn’t even running with him,” he continued.

According to the two-minute report, that was a correct call because “Murray grabs and pulls Booker’s jersey away from his body, and the contact affects his (freedom of movement) during the throw-in.”

Frustration from Mike Brown is understandable. The loose definition of marginal is confusing between these two crucial scenarios that negatively affected Sacramento in their narrow 130-125 to Phoenix.

He pointed toward the difference in fouls called — 27 on Sacramento compared to 16 on Phoenix — when asked about their loss postgame.  “It’s tough to swallow,” he said. “I know they’re human. They’re great, great frickin guys, good officials, but it’s tough.”

“It is tough out there to see your guys work as hard as they work, and we’re in position to tie the game with 24 seconds. (If the and-one is called) then that foul with Keegan doesn’t even happen,” Mike Brown continued. “Now they’ve got to score, and we’re gonna have a chance possibly to score too, but to have the game decided by something else, that’s tough, man.”

With a quick turnaround as they head to Denver one day removed from Tuesday’s loss to Phoenix, they will have to move on from any lingering frustrations and look to improve their record.

When is the next Sacramento Kings game?

Sacramento will play a tough second night of a back-to-back on Wednesday night against the Denver Nuggets as they will look to head into the NBA All-Star break on a winning note.

Last Friday night, the Kings routed the Nuggets by a final of 135-106 behind a triple-double performance from Domantas Sabonis (17 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists).

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Nuggets coverage, beginning at 4:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 6:00 PM PST tip-off from the ‘Mile High City.’

More on Kings vs. Suns

Upcoming Schedule

  • Wednesday, February 14th – Sacramento Kings @ Denver Nuggets – 6:00 PM PST
  • NBA All-Star break – February 15-21
  • Thursday, February 22nd – Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs – 7:00 PM PST
  • Sunday, February 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Clippers – 6:30 PM PST
  • Monday, February 26th – Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat – 7:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, February 28th – Sacramento Kings @ Denver Nuggets – 6:00 PM PST

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Mike Brown disagrees with crucial calls in final seconds of Kings, Suns