De'Aaron Fox Hits Game Winner For Sacramento Kings, Defeat Philly 109-108
Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein defends Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers at Golden 1 Center. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey. Nov. 9, 2017.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento, Calif. –
Rookie De’Aaron Fox made the game-winning basket on a pull-up shot with 14.1 seconds left to play to give the Sacramento Kings a 109-108 victory over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night, the team’s second-consecutive win at Golden 1 Center.
Zach Randolph had 20 points, seven rebounds, and two steals while rookie Justin Jackson came off the bench for 19 points, two assists, and two made 3-pointers in nearly 30 minutes for the Kings (3-8).
Despite making 4 of 13 shots from the floor, Fox made good with 11 points, seven assists, and four rebounds in a game that recorded 21 lead changes and nine ties. The Kings’ biggest lead in the game was nine points and the 76ers’ largest gap was six points.
Following the game, Fox made light of who was really responsible for the last play that turned out to be the right one for a player 11 games into his rookie season. Fox actually took matters into his own hands when he didn’t see any opportunities.
“Well, coach told me tell you that that was the play,” Fox said with a chuckle. “But no, we drew up something. It didn’t look like anybody was getting open and I just bust to the top, and they backed up. That was the shot I’ve been comfortable taking and I made it.”
Willie Cauley-Stein had 15 points, four rebounds, and two-blocked shots, one towards the end of game that happened to be Joel Embiid’s. The Kings had 29 assists and turned the ball over only nine times. They also made 12 0f 27 shots behind the arc. Kostas Koufos added eight points and 12 rebounds in a reserve roll for the Kings.
“We really needed that game,” Koufos said after the game. “We earned it, too.”
Publicity Agents OpticalVision footage by T. Ray Harvey. Nov. 9, 2017.
Philadelphia (4-6) rookie Ben Simmons didn’t have the game he’s been accustomed to in previous matches. Foul trouble kept him on the bench most of the third quarter. Still, Simmons finished with 18 points, six assists, and two rebounds in nearly 27 minutes.
“It was disappointing, but it’s on to the next game,” Simmons said. “We have Golden State, the Clippers, and then the Lakers. So we have plenty of games left. Every game is learning experience for us. Every game is different and this one came down to executing the final play.”
There were 13 lead changes and five ties in the first half before the Kings were able to take a 64-57 halftime lead. The Kings made 25 of 50 shots from the floor and was not shy about sharing the basketball.
Sacramento had 21 assists in the first half and four players had three or more dimes each. The Kings also outrebounded the 76ers 28-20 in the first 24 minutes, nine boards cleared off the glass by Koufos.
In the third quarter, the Kings led by eight points until the 76ers came back to take the lead 73-72 on a layup by T.J McConnell at the 6:20 mark. Sacramento regained control and ended the third frame ahead 84-81.
After Jackson made a 3-point basket to give the Kings a 98-97 lead at the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter, the 76ers went on a 9-4 run, capped off with a 10-foot driving hook and a free throw by Embiid to give Philadelphia a 108-102 gap with 1:38 left to play. The 76ers never scored again.
Fox made a running lay up, Garrett Temple made a 26-foot trey, and Fox came back to hit the game-winning shot with 14.1 seconds on the clock. Embiid was summoned to shoot the last shot, but missed it. The Kings were able to rebound as the buzzer sounded.
Robert Covington lead the 76ers with 24 points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots. Embiid had 22 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, three blocked shots and five turnovers. Philadelphia’s bench contributed 17 points.
But that was not the only issue with the team.
“We didn't deserve to win the game,” said 76ers head coach Brett Brown. “I thought it was poor a first half as we had played. We had no discipline in transition defense and I didn't know our team offensively. We went rogue.”
Entering the game against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Kings’ bench was averaging 47.7 points per game, which ranks second best in the NBA. Against the Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento had 54 points from the reserves, including 19 points from Justin Jackson and 11 points from De’Aaron Fox.
In the last five seasons, the 76ers have mounted up a 271 losses (54.2 games per season) against 109 victories (21.8 per season). With the addition of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and other talented players added to the roster, Philadelphia appears to be working itself out of futility.
Head coach Brett Brown, who has been with the team since the 2013-2014 season, provided to key words his team has stuck by for its blueprint: Relationships and Development. Brown ought to know because he has a 75 wins and 253 losses in his first four seasons with the Philly.
“We went overboard in Philadelphia on relationships and development. We went heavy on really understanding the person, really trying to dig into what makes someone tick, and understanding the relational side as best we could. We connected the development dot to improve them and help them. Through that sort of template, it enabled us to hold the locker room, to take hits when you lost multiple times, and to stay with the guys. How do you find ways to grow them and how do you find ways to help them?
We navigated through some rough years and uncovered some good players. You look at Robert Covington (averaging 15.7 points, and 5.7 rebounds through 10 games this season) and he’s a poster child for our development plan. He’s one of the elite two-way players, I think, in the NBA. He’s heavenly rated defensively and he’s shooting the ball well.
But those two things ruled our world. It was high-dosage, high-attention plan with relationships and development.”
On The Marquee
Sacramento Kings: New York Knicks on Saturday
Philadelphia 76ers: Golden State on Saturday
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist
Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.