The Sacramento Kings have had their share of wild finishes this season, a number of them not going their way. On Tuesday, it was yet another crazy ending, but this time Sacramento got the break it needed to escape with a thrilling 117-115 victory over the Jazz.
De'Aaron Fox goes down as the hero with 37 points, 22 of which came in the fourth quarter, and the game-winning bucket with 0.4 seconds remaining, clearing everyone out and blazing past Lauri Markkanen.
DE'AARON FOX.— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) January 4, 2023
Fox's shot was nearly upstaged by what looked like one of the craziest buzzer-beaters you'll ever see. After Fox scored, the Jazz, who were out of timeouts, had to launch a full-court pass, which Markkanen, after sneaking up the sideline, caught cleanly and, in one motion, basically redirected the ball to the hoop from 3. All net.
"Once I saw him catch it with his back to the basket, I didn't worry because he has to catch it and turn around," Kings forward Domantas Sabonis said. "I was like, 'Whatever'. But then you know... we're the Kings and I was like... Well, we might have lost."
Didn’t count, but what a shot from Lauri Markkanen.— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) January 4, 2023
Sure, there's some luck in that shot, but that kind of touch from that angle also speaks to Markkanen's pure shooting skill. It's a shame it didn't count. Upon further review, you can see that the ball is indeed still in Markkanen's hand with the backboard alit in double-zero red.
Lauri Markkanen's incredible game-winner was still in his hands as the buzzer went off.— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) January 4, 2023
Wow... 🤯 https://t.co/k83cr9uOoS pic.twitter.com/OoNAJFGJkJ
I will say it's interesting that we examine these buzzer-beating shots with absolute precision yet pay almost no mind to whether the clock actually started at precisely the right moment. This shot should've counted if the clock operator was a tenth of a second early in hitting the switch. I watched the play about 10 times. It looks like the clock operator was on time. It's just a side thought I had.
Nonetheless, with the win, the Kings improved to 20-16, as they currently own the Western Conference's No. 5 seed.