Buddy Hield’s seventh 3-pointer of the night came as time expired and gave the Kings a 103-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday at Little Caesars Arena. Here are three takeaways from the game:
Hield gets hot in fourth quarter
Hield’s scoring was needed in a game where there wasn’t much of it spread among either team.
He scored 20 before the break but only shot three times while going scoreless in the third quarter.
After re-entering the game with 6:53 left in the final period, Hield got hot. He made all four of his 3-point attempts, including the winning shot at the buzzer, and finished with 35 points.
Hield received the inbound pass, fought for control of the ball, dribbled between two defenders and launched the winner. He ran off the court after hitting his first buzzer beater in the NBA.
“It’s something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” Hield said.
The Kings rallied from 12 down in the fourth to bounce back from a rough loss two nights prior in Charlotte.
Griffin carries Pistons
Blake Griffin didn’t suit up when these teams met in Sacramento on Jan. 10, as the Pistons opted to rest him a day after a 113-100 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles.
The five-time All-Star came to play in this one.
He scored 14 points in the opening 12 minutes and was fired up at times with Kings rookie Marvin Bagley III covering him. In the second quarter, after drawing a foul on the rookie, Griffin turned his focus toward referee Natalie Sago and was hit with a technical.
Griffin picked things up offensively in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of his game-high 38 points while giving the Pistons a 101-100 lead with a tough layup.
If not for Hield’s shot, the Pistons would have completed a perfect three-game home stand.
Fox the facilitator
De’Aaron Fox didn’t shoot well, but the point guard proved players can contribute with more than just scoring.
Fox recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 assists. More impressively, he did not commit a turnover.
It was Fox’s third game this season with no turnovers. In the previous two, he had 10 and nine assists.
Kings coach Dave Joerger was complimentary of the second-year guard’s improvement.
“I think it happened pretty fast,” Joerger said before the game. “He’s a very cerebral guy, studies a lot and wants to be good. It’s not hugely surprising, but it is a little faster than I think people thought.”
Upcoming schedule for the Kings
▪ Jan. 21 at Brooklyn Nets – This will be the first meeting between the teams this season. Sacramento swept the series in 2017-18. The Nets were sixth in the Eastern Conference entering Saturday and seek their first playoff berth in four seasons.
▪ Jan. 22 at Toronto Raptors – The Kings will look to avenge a 114-105 home loss to Toronto on Nov. 7. It won’t be easy, as it comes on the second of a back-to-back against the NBA’s No. 2 team in winning percentage entering Saturday.
▪ Jan. 25 at Memphis Grizzlies – The Kings are 2-1 against the Grizzlies, including a 102-99 victory Dec. 21 at Golden 1 Center in which Sacramento overcame a 19-point deficit.