Buddy Hield’s game-winning tip-in at the buzzer capped a hard-fought 124-122 OT victory by the Sacramento Kings over the Denver Nuggets Wednesday night at Ball Arena.
With 25 seconds remaining in OT and Sacramento down 120-122, things looked bleak when Michael Porter Jr. blocked Cory Joseph’s corner three-pointer that would have given the good guys the lead.
But this year’s Kings squad appears to be a different breed and they were not even close to giving up on the game as the Nuggets had the ball and the lead on their home court as the clock was rapidly ticking down.
Just 15 seconds later, De’Aaron Fox made an amazing closeout block on Will Barton’s layup attempt. Harrison Barnes grabbed the rebound and ran the length of the court for the game-tying layup with 6.5 seconds left.
Barnes continued his late-game heroics by then knocking the ball away from Denver’s Nikola Jokic with two seconds remaining. He drove to the hoop for the winning dunk but was blocked by Barton.
But out of nowhere flew in Hield for the tip-in at the buzzer to seal the win. Buddy then proceeded to sprint off the court followed by teammates as they stole their season opener in thrilling fashion.
This was a great performance by Sacramento throughout. They played solid defense when they needed to and neither team was ever able to establish a double-digit lead.
Fox and Hield combined for 43 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds. After a slow start, they both came on strong in the second half.
Barnes finished with 21 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
Marvin Bagley had a solid outing with 13 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out late in the fourth.
Cory Joseph came off the bench to score 15 points and collect two blocks while his defense set the tone for the entire team.
Rookie Tyrese Halliburton played 30 minutes and was clearly trusted by the coaching staff during crunch time as he scored 12 points, including two key three-pointers late in the game.
The Kings grabbed 54 rebounds, including 18 on the offensive glass. Damn! We are not used to that.
Denver’s Nikola Jokic was an absolute beast finishing with 29 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists, and three blocks. He single-handedly was responsible for fouling out both Bagley and Richaun Holmes.
Jamal Murray was completely shutdown by Sacramento's defense as he made just 1-of9 shots before fouling out late in the game.
Jabari Parker and DeQuan Jeffries both missed the game due to lower back soreness.