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Sacramento’s miraculous comeback, by the numbers

The Kings’ victory over the Timberwolves was so improbable it might have never been done before.

Sacramento Kings v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Last night might have been the craziest comeback in Kings history and maybe one of the craziest in NBA history. The Kings have had some big comebacks in their day, including the 2nd largest in NBA history when they came back from 35 against Chicago back in 2009. But against the Timberwolves last night, they somehow managed to come back after being down by 27 points late in the 3rd quarter, but even crazier, down 17 with just 2:49 left to go in the game.

Let’s go to the numbers.


That’s the percentage of teams that have won a game when trailing by 17+ in the final 3 minutes of 4th quarter of overtime since 1996-97. The Kings are the only team in 8,379 attempts to do so. It wouldn’t be that surprising if that number was even lower but alas the data only goes back to 1996, the first year play-by-play data was available.


The Kings scored 133 points, their season-high. The Kings also scored 41 points in the final frame leading to OT, their most points in a quarter this season. It should come as no surprise that the Kings got better the faster they played.


The Kings and Timberwolves combined for 41 made threes last night, tying the NBA record set last year between the Kings and the Warriors. Minnesota set a franchise record for threes in a half with 14. Buddy Hield hit 9 of those threes, 2 away from the franchise record he set earlier this season in Boston and good enough to tie with Mike Bibby and Omri Casspi for 2nd on the list.


That was the number of free throws Minnesota missed last night. The Timberwolves went just 1-6 from the line over the final 35 seconds of the final quarter and all of overtime.


That’s a career-high for Buddy Hield, who scored 20 points on perfect shooting in the 4th quarter to help spur the comeback. The only other player that has done that in the last 20 seasons? The man, Buddy dedicated the performance to, Kobe Bryant.


That’s where Buddy Hield’s performance ranks all-time in terms of bench scoring in a game. Jamal Crawford set the record with 51 last season. Another former King, Kevin Martin, has the 7th all time performance.


Nemanja Bjelica’s career-high in assists. Bjelica really loves playing against his former team. In 6 games against the Timberwolves, Bjelica is shooting 52.1% and 48% from three.


Nemanja Bjelica’s game-high +/-. In a game that saw the Kings win by just 4 points and come back from a huge deficit, the Kings essentially blew out the Timberwolves when Bjelica was on the floor. De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield also boasted double digit +/- for the Kings. Single-game +/- can often be misleading, but not in this case.


That was the amount of offensive rebounds De’Aaron Fox had. Of course, it was the most crucial rebound of the game.

Any way you cut it, this was a remarkable, improbable win.