This one stings.
The Sacramento Kings fell to the undermanned Charlotte Hornets on Friday night 124-123 behind a 30-piece from De’Aaron Fox. A high scoring affair down the line was a real heartbreaker, coming down to the wire in the most confusing and dramatic of fashions.
For the second game in a row, Sacramento couldn’t seem to find a defensive identity in the first half of play. Leading by as many as 10 points in the second quarter, the Kings were getting blown out of the water in the paint due to a lackluster rim defensive despite their significant size advantage over Charlotte. The Hornets were able to erase the deficit and keep the game within one possession heading into halftime.
Sactown opened up the second half on a 12-2 run, largely in part to Haliburton’s back to back three pointers and a explosion from Fox. The Kings found offensive success beyond the arc, shooting 14-31 midway through the third but just couldn’t put the Hornets to bed, heading into the final frame 99-98.
Down by five with two minutes to play, an offensive flurry from Davis led to a 119-120 stoppage, with a chance for Sacramento to come back from being up by double digits twice. Fox hit two free throws to tie things at 123-123 with 20.2 seconds left in play.
The weirdest sequence of events occurred with just seconds left: a common foul was reviewed by Alvin Gentry for a call on Terence Davis swiping Cody Martin that took the Hornets up by two. After review, the foul was called with Martin still on the floor, where he would miss one of two free throws.
Unknowingly, Martin thought Charlotte had a foul to give and sent Fox to the line to win the game with 2.4 seconds left in the contest. Fox missed both free throws, he was a perfect 8-8 prior.