The Sacramento Kings managed to blow a 21-point halftime lead and found themselves trailing by 2 in the closing seconds. James Johnson hit the buzzer-beating three pointer to defeat the Knicks 106-105, just like everyone expected. Wait, what? How did this happen? Let's start at the beginning.
The Kings came out hot, hitting 10-15 first half three pointers. Ball movement, energy, everything we hope to see but so rarely do. The Kings were running the Knicks out of Sleep Train Arena. Then in the second half, the normal Kings showed up. The offense turned back into all-iso-everything.
Down two with 9 seconds to go, James Johnson tipped out a rebound to Isaiah Thomas. Thomas kicked it to Salmons in the corner. Salmons passed when time seemed ready to expire, but James Johnson somehow managed to get a shot off in time from the top of the arc. It sank as the Knicks, and everyone familiar with James Johnson, stared in shocked disbelief.
The Kings were led in scoring by Marcus Thornton with 18 points, but received contributions from Johnson (17), DeMarcus Cousins (15), Jimmer Fredette (15), Thomas (11) and Aaron Brooks (10). It was a team performance from start to finish, from good to bad and back again.
Akis was at the game and will give a first-hand recap of the entire experience later tonight. In the meantime, let's dance!
[Edit: The tip-out was originally credited to Cousins, but has been corrected to accurately reflect that it was James Johnson.]