SACRAMENTO -- Forget that the Sacramento Kings led by 19 points with 9:48 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Forget that the New York Knicks looked about as disinterested as any team that’s walked through Golden 1 Center this season.
Forget that Enes Kanter sat the entire fourth quarter or that the Knicks have lost 12 of their previous 13 games.
A win is a win. In a season that is supposed to be about growth, Sacramento found a way to come away with a victory in the final minute of a wild game.
It wasn’t De’Aaron Fox with more late game heroics and while Bogdan Bogdanovic hit an 18-footer to give the Kings the lead with 29.7 remaining, it came down to someone else this time around.
With the game knotted at 99-99 and just 5.3 seconds remaining, Skal Labissiere received the inbounds pass from Bogdanovic. The first option was to hand the ball back to the Kings rookie shooting guard, but Labissiere let Bogdanovic run through and take his man with him.
As if the play was run for him, Labissiere turned to faced the basket, took one dribble and walked into a 28-foot 3-pointer.
“That was a big shot,” Fox said. “He went through the progressions. He could have handed it to Bogi. He decided not to. Like I said, he hit a big shot.”
It was the sentiment that was repeated multiple times in the locker room.
“For him to take that shot, that took some guts,” Justin Jackson said of Labissiere. “He knocked it down, so I’m happy for him.”
17-year NBA veteran Zach Randolph was so happy for Labissiere that he stormed the court to greet the second-year power forward and was called for a technical foul.
Labissiere had played well throughout the night. He finished with 14 points, six rebounds, three assists and three blocks in 33 minutes of action. The Knicks missed a 49-footer at the buzzer to tie it and the Kings escaped with a 102-99 win.
“I think it was a good read and he got to a spot on the floor,” Dave Joerger said following the victory. “He was not the first option on that play, but when you keep working on your execution and stuff like that, I think it gives you confidence.”
The triple at the end of the game was Labissiere’s 30th 3-point attempt of the season. With the make, he’s now shooting 36.7 percent from behind the arc.
Labissiere wasn’t sure when the last time he had hit a game winner, but thought it was in high school. It was a nice moment for a young player that has worked hard and is trying to build confidence in the final quarter of the season.
The victory helped the Kings improve to 20-44 on the year. They get a two day break before returning to Golden 1 Center to face the red-hot Pelicans on Wednesday evening.