De'Aaron Fox

Fox goes dunk hunting in final seconds for Kings' win

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Fox goes dunk hunting in final seconds for Kings' win

MIAMI -- De'Aaron Fox's rebound dunk with 3 seconds left capped a huge comeback by the Sacramento Kings, who rallied from a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Miami Heat 89-88 on Thursday night.

The Kings outscored the Heat 17-4 in the final 5:46, winning at Miami for the first time since 2001.

Buddy Hield scored 24 points for Sacramento, which got 14 from Fox, 11 from Bogdan Bogdanovic and 10 from Zach Randolph.

Goran Dragic scored 23 points for Miami, and he was the only Heat starter to finish in double figures. Wayne Ellington had 20 and Justise Winslow added 11 for the Heat.

Miami gave the game away in the fourth, and fell apart in the final moments. Hassan Whiteside fouled out with 21 seconds left while trying to set a screen for Dragic, and the Kings -- down one -- decided to run the clock down as much as they could on the ensuing possession.

Bogdanovic missed a jumper from the right wing, but Fox swooped in for a rebound slam that became the game-winner. Josh Richardson missed a wild jumper as time expired, the capper to his 2-for-13 shooting night (see full recap).

Thunder win behind Westbrook’s season-high 46
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 46 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Washington Wizards 121-112 on Thursday night for their sixth straight victory.

Westbrook made 19 of 29 field goals in one of his most efficient shooting performances of the season. Paul George scored 18 points and Steven Adams added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which has won 20 of 28 after an 8-12 start. The Thunder shot 52 percent from the field.

Bradley Beal scored 41 points and Markieff Morris added 20 for the Wizards, who committed 23 turnovers.

The Thunder took a 54-40 lead into halftime, but Washington trimmed its deficit to a point in the third quarter before the Thunder rallied. Raymond Felton hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Thunder up 10, and Oklahoma City led 82-74 at the end of the period.

A powerful right-handed jam by Westbrook gave the Thunder a 92-85 lead in the fourth, and a steal by George led to a dunk by Westbrook that put Oklahoma City up 99-89 with just under seven minutes to play. Westbrook punctuated his performance with a two-handed breakaway jam with about a minute remaining (see full recap).

Nuggets continue home dominance over Knicks
DENVER -- Gary Harris scored 23 points, Trey Lyles had 21 and the Denver Nuggets beat the New York Knicks 130-118 on Thursday night.

Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic added 18 points apiece for the Nuggets, who defeated the Knicks for the 10th time in a row in Denver. New York hasn't won in the Mile High City since 2006.

Seven Nuggets scored in double figures.

Kristaps Porzingis, returning to action after missing Tuesday's loss at Golden State with a sore knee, and Michael Beasley each scored 21 points for the Knicks. Enes Kanter had 20 and Trey Burke 18.

Trailing by 13 at the half, the Knicks pulled to 87-79 on a jumper by Burke with 4:55 left in the third quarter. They trailed 99-92 heading into the final period after Burke connected on a fadeaway shot.

The Nuggets, though, scored 10 straight points to start the fourth quarter, including 3-pointers by Will Barton and Lyles to rebuild Denver's lead to 109-92.

New York put together a 9-0 burst to pull to 114-106 but Porzingis fouled out with just under 5 minutes remaining and Murray drained a key 3-pointer with 2:41 remaining to put the Nuggets back up by 11 points. Harris added a jumper a little more than a minute later to quash the Knicks' comeback bid (see full recap).

Sixers falter late in 4th quarter as win streak snapped by Kings

Sixers falter late in 4th quarter as win streak snapped by Kings


Brett Brown felt there were more than enough breaks in the action late to get his desired instructions to his team in case things went down to the wire.

What he didn’t expect was for the young Sixers to disregard those plans and do their own thing.

The Sixers allowed rookie De’Aaron Fox to drain a pull-up jumper with 13.4 seconds remaining and then failed to execute the called offensive set on the other end in a 109-108 loss to the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center on Thursday (see observations).

“That particular play is most disappointing because we had all the stoppages,” Brown said of the last play. “We had talked. I didn’t need to take a timeout. The game was stopped for a minute. We didn’t need to waste a timeout. 

“We had a play designed. We’ve been doing well closing out games and we went rogue. We didn’t show the discipline. That thing you’re talking about is the end result of chaos.”

On that final possession, Ben Simmons dribbled up the court and passed to JJ Redick on the right wing. Redick hesitated before he fed Joel Embiid at the foul line. Embiid pivoted on Willie Cauley-Stein and then put up a jump shot that rolled off the rim to officially snap the Sixers’ five-game win streak.

Not exactly the execution you want to see from an upstart team looking to make a name for itself around the league.

“It’s a tough one for sure, but it’s a lesson,” said Robert Covington, who had a team-high 24 points. “We’re going to go back and watch the small things, what caused the outcome of this game. What we’re going to do is learn from the mistakes, fix them and move on to the next one.”

This version of the Sixers was supposed to be over those type of crucial mistakes, although you couldn’t tell on Thursday night. They had 17 turnovers, which led to 19 points. The Sixers also committed 28 personal fouls compared to 19 for the Kings.

Still, the Sixers were in the hunt for yet another road win because their dynamic duo of Embiid and Simmons overcame some early adversity.

Embiid, who was back in the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game in Utah for “load management,” looked like the time off didn’t serve him well early on. The center (22 points on 7 for 20 shooting, 15 rebounds, two assists, three blocks, five turnovers) appeared lethargic throughout much of the game before coming on strong in the clutch (see highlights).

Embiid had nine points, six rebounds and two blocks in the fourth quarter as the Sixers went up by as many as six with 1:38 left on the clock.

Simmons was held in check for a good portion of the matchup, mainly by his own doing. The rookie point guard committed his fourth personal foul just 1:17 into the second half and was forced to the bench.

When Simmons returned in the fourth, he made up for lost time. He scored seven of his 18 points in the final frame (see highlights).

But the play by the Sixers’ starters proved to be too little, too late as Fox and the Kings’ reserves (56-17 scoring advantage over the Sixers’ bench) closed the show.

“We tried really hard. We had a couple of mistakes at the end of the game,” Dario Saric said. “This is the NBA. Like JJ said in the locker room, sometimes it’s hard to get a win, especially on the road in this game, in this league. It’s the best league in the world.”

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Sixers as they now travel to face the best team in the best league in the world: the champion Golden State Warriors.

Sixers-Kings observations: Unable to survive in Sacramento

Sixers-Kings observations: Unable to survive in Sacramento


Teams looking to take that next step finish off games and opponents like this one.

The Sixers battled back in the second half before ultimately suffering a 109-108 loss to the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center on Thursday night.

De’Aaron Fox hit a pull-up jumper with 13.4 seconds remaining in regulation to put the Kings ahead by one. The Sixers struggled to find a decent look on the other end before Joel Embiid rimmed a jumper to seal the defeat.

The loss snapped the Sixers’ five-game win streak and dropped their record to 6-5.

• After missing Tuesday’s win over the Utah Jazz, Embiid returned to the lineup against the Kings.

The extra rest didn’t appear to do Embiid any favors early on as he looked rusty and lethargic for much of the first half. However, the big man came on strong late to still notch 22 points (7 for 20 shooting), 15 rebounds and three blocks.

• How does a team that’s last in the NBA in scoring (93.8 points per game) put up 64 points in the first half? It simply shoots 50 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from three-point range.

• That effort has a lot to do with the Kings’ bench. Led by Justin Jackson (19 points) and Fox (11 points, seven assists), Sacramento’s reserves sparked the team’s charge. The Kings won the battle of the bench points, 56-17.

• It appears the only way to slow down Ben Simmons is to get him in foul trouble. Simmons was limited to a season-low 27 minutes as he picked up five fouls in the contest. He still managed to put up 18 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals in the game.

• You’ve heard the phrase “California cool” before, but one incident on Thursday night was a little bit different. Robert Covington was fouled by Bogdan Bogdanovic shooting a three-pointer early in the first quarter. Covington stepped to the stripe and nailed the first two free throws before several players for both teams began to run down the court the other way. They clearly forgot it was a three-point attempt and had to come back down for the final free throw, which Covington sank.

• Speaking of Covington, that wasn’t the only time he was fouled on a three-pointer. It actually happened three times in the game. The other two went in to give Covington chances at the four-point play. He pulled off the feat once.

Overall, it was another strong outing for the swingman. He finished with 24 points on 7 of 16 shooting (6 of 12 from long range). 

While most Americans are counting the days to Thanksgiving, Covington has his eyes set a little bit earlier to Nov. 15. That marks the day he can officially begin working on a new deal with the Sixers. #PayThatMan

• Embiid and Simmons continue to carry the offensive load for the Sixers, but the dynamic duo is also leading the way with miscues. Embiid and Simmons combined for nine of the team's 17 turnovers in the loss. The Kings had nine turnovers as a team on Thursday night.

• Sixers special advisor Jerry Colangelo joined the broadcast for a stretch during the first and second quarters. He touched on several topics, including  his thoughts on the team’s early-season performance.

“I’m very pleased,” Colangelo said. “I’m very excited about the future and the development of some of the young players. It truly is a process in terms of how long. It will take a while for them to mesh. At midseason we’re gonna have a much better feel for who they are.”

• Jerryd Bayless (left wrist contusion) and Markelle Fultz (right shoulder soreness/scapular muscle imbalance) were sidelined for the Sixers. Vince Carter (illness) and Harry Giles (rehab for both knees) were the only players out for the Kings.

• The Sixers’ road trip continues in California on Saturday night with a matchup against the champion Golden State Warriors (8:30 p.m./NBC Sports Philadelphia).