Kings

Buddy Hield matches rare Kobe Bryant stat day after NBA legend's death

Buddy Hield matches rare Kobe Bryant stat day after NBA legend's death

Don’t lie, did you stop watching? Did you angrily turn off the Sacramento Kings game in the fourth quarter thinking that they had lost another game to the Minnesota Timberwolves?

If you did, you missed a moment. You missed Buddy Hield harnessing the Mamba Mentality and helping his Kings pull off an improbable comeback. 

Down 22 with 5:43 remaining in the fourth quarter, coach Luke Walton left his rotational guys in the game and they responded. First Nemanja Bjelica hit a three ball. And then Bogdan Bogdanovic. And then Hield hit the nitro button.

The Kings’ leading scorer dropped in 20 of his career-high 42 points in the fourth, including 12 in the final 4:34 as the Kings tracked down the T-Wolves. 

A huge Kobe Bryant fan, Hield matched the legend with an obscure nugget dug up by ESPN’s Stats Info. 

Following the Kings' emotional 133-129 overtime victory, Hield stopped by and spoke to NBC Sports California’s Grant Napear and Doug Christie to discuss the game and what Bryant, who passed away on Sunday in a helicopter accident, meant to him growing up as a kid in the Bahamas.

“It was tough,” Hield said of preparing to play the game after Bryant’s death. “Just knowing where I came from and knowing what Kobe instilled in my life, everything was Kobe Bryant.”

With only nationally televised games available to watch, Hield was drawn to Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers. He’s modeled his game after the 18-time All-Star and adopted Bryant’s work ethic as his own.

“Kobe was always that guy for me,” Hield said. “He made me believe, man and that’s why I’m here today because I wanted to chase what he’s chasing.” 

Hield knocked down 14-of-24 from the field and 9-for-14 from behind the arc. His 42 points surpassed his previous high of 41 that he set earlier in the season.

[RELATED: Walton reflects on Kobe's death]

“In the overtime, I didn’t want to score no more,” Hield said. “I had 42 points, I had five rebounds, three assists. Turn 42 around to 24. Five and three assists is eight points.”

Bryant wore No. 24 and No. 8 during his time with the Lakers. He made a tremendous impact on an entire group of young players, including Hield.

“It’s all Kobe, man, it’s all for Kobe,” Hield added.

Five things to watch when Kings got first win of season on buzzer beater

Five things to watch when Kings got first win of season on buzzer beater

Programming note: Watch the re-air of the Kings’ victory over the Utah Jazz from Nov. 1, 2019 tonight at 3 PT on NBC Sports California.

NBC Sports California is bringing fans some of the best games from the last few seasons in their re-airing of instant classics. With the NBA season on hold, it's the closest thing fans can get to watching live action. 

In our 10th installment, we go back to the Kings' first win of the 2019-20 season when they snapped a five-game losing streak to open the season with an upset victory over the Utah Jazz.

While we know the final outcome, sometimes the nuances of the win are lost with time. Here are five things to watch from the Kings’ 102-101 win over the Jazz at Golden 1 Center.

The winner

With 6.5 seconds remaining, Nemanja Bjelica fielded a pass from a cutting De’Aaron Fox and lined up a clean look from the corner. The ball caught iron, but Harrison Barnes crashed the glass, read the spin and was there for the putback with two seconds remaining on the clock to give Sacramento the one-point advantage.

The Kings held on the defensive end to come away with an improbable victory over a very good Jazz team. Barnes finished with a modest 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals, but his shot got the Kings in the win column for the first time during the 2019-20 season.

“I’ve had a few game-winners throughout my career, whether it’s been high school, college, pro,” Barnes told NBC Sports California. “I don’t know the exact numbers, but hopefully either the rest of this season or next season, I can build on that.”


Fox shines

This is Fox’s team and he started to show it early in the season. Against fellow 2017 draftee Donovan Mitchell, Fox came out in attack mode, scoring 11 points in the first quarter.

Fox continued to dominate the action throughout the game, finishing with a game-high 25 points.  

Fox shot 8-of-17 from the field and went to the free throw line for 12 of the Kings’ 17 attempts on the night.

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Buddy struggles from deep

Buddy Hield has become one of the most reliable 3-point shooters in the NBA throughout his three-plus seasons. Against the Jazz, he went cold from the perimeter, but made adjustments to his game.

Hield missed all five of his 3-point attempts, but he still managed to score 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting. This was the only time through the Kings’ first 64 games that Hield failed to register a made triple.

Holmes gets comfortable

In just his second start of the season, Richaun Holmes began to settle in with the first team. He and Bjelica instantly found chemistry which led to multiple highlight reel alley-oops. 

The Kings invested heavily in Dewayne Dedmon during the summer. Holmes not only stole his job, but made Dedmon completely expendable.

This wasn’t one of his best performances, but Holmes held his own against Rudy Gobert and he came up huge on the defensive end on the final sequence.

Controversy

Following the shot by Barnes, the Jazz had one more opportunity to win the game. With two seconds remaining, Mike Conley tossed the inbounds pass to Mitchell who played off a Gobert screen.

Holmes took Mitchell on the switch and gave the guard a small bump. Mitchell continued his dribble, hit Homes with a pump fake and hoisted a 23-footer that came up short.

Following the game, Mitchell claimed that he was fouled on the final possession and should have gone to the line with a chance to win the game. 

The following day, the NBA sided with the Kings on the Two Minute report, stating, “Holmes (SAC) makes marginal contact with Mitchell (UTA) that does not affect his SQBR (Speed, Quickness, Balance, Rhythm).”

Kings guard Kyle Guy reveals his grandfather died from coronavirus

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USATSI

Kings guard Kyle Guy reveals his grandfather died from coronavirus

The global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forever changed Kyle Guy's family.

The Kings' second-round draft pick revealed Saturday that his grandfather died Friday night after contracting the virus.

"When I was 7 or 8 my grandpa had me sign a piece of paper saying he’d be my manager (jokingly) if I ever made it to the NBA 😂 something as small as that was always on my mind while I tried to make that dream come true. I know he’s up there waiting for his cut lmao.. and one day, I’ll give it to him ❤️," Guy wrote on Instagram.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 277,205 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States and 6,593 deaths in the country.

[RELATED: Kings' former arena to be converted to hospital]

Guy, who grew up in Indianapolis and went to school at the University of Virginia, signed a two-way contract with the Kings in July.