The league has spoken.
According to the NBA’s Two-Minute Report, Buddy Hield's game-winning 3-pointer against the Detroit Pistons on the Kings' final possession Saturday night was legal.
"Hield (Sac) fumbles the inbound pass and subsequently bats the ball to the floor as he attempts to gain control," the report said. "He picks up the ball with both hands thereafter, establishing full control, and legally takes one dribble prior to the start of his upward shooting motion."
Hield’s 28-footer as time expired didn’t even graze the iron. It cut right through the net, sending Sacramento to an improbable 24th win on the season.
BUDDY CALLED GAME!!! pic.twitter.com/oYQ22qgXyA— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 20, 2019
With 3.4 seconds remaining and the Kings trailing 101-100, Bogdan Bogdanovic hit Hield coming off a screen from Willie Cauley-Stein. Hield bobbled the initial pass, took one dribble, picked up the ball and, from one camera angle, took another dribble as he stepped through three Pistons for the open look.
Upon further review, this looks to be a double-dribble. Dribble, gather with two hands and drible again. https://t.co/WwkK6lEqNO— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) January 20, 2019
Following the loss, Pistons star Blake Griffin voiced his opinion on the play.
"Fumbling the ball, taking a controlled dribble to gather the ball, picking it up with two hands then taking another dribble definitely works to your advantage," Griffin told media members.
Pistons center Zaza Pachulia agreed with his teammate.
"Once he picked up the ball, he couldn't dribble anymore," Pachulia told reporters. "That's messed up. Unfortunately he did. He got by me easy because it was sort of surprising. One-foot floater from (three-point range)? C'mon."
Pachulia's late-game defense also was called into question by the two-minute report, but like Hield, he was cleared by the officials upon review.
Hield defended his play following the game, and his recollection of the events lines up with those of the league.
“I lost the ball,” Hield told reporters following the game. “I didn’t have possession of the ball. I just tried to catch it, and I lost it. It’s whatever. It counts as a win, so we’ll take it.”
As the ball ripped through the cords, Hield shed celebrating teammate De’Aaron Fox, then took a victory lap around Little Caesars Arena before jumping a television camera cord and heading down the tunnel and into the visiting locker room.
Maybe the Kings stole a victory. Maybe the Pistons gave one away. Not of that really matters now. All that matters for Sacramento is that the game goes in the win column.