The Kings and the New Orleans Pelicans entered Sunday night’s game desperate for a victory.
The Pelicans were riding a five-game losing streak, while frustrations were mounting in Sacramento, with a Kings defense going through a historically bad stretch. New Orleans eventually escaped Golden 1 Center with a 128-123 victory, but the result could have been different had the refs not blown an early whistle with 10.3 seconds remaining.
J.J. Redick received an inbounds pass with the Pelicans holding a three-point lead, and he appeared to shuffle his feet a bit. Officials then whistled De’Aaron Fox for a quick foul, which drew a protest from Kings coach Luke Walton on the sideline.
The NBA released its Last Two Minute Report on Monday, and deemed Redick didn’t travel. However, the league ruled, Fox didn’t deserve a foul either since he made “marginal” contact with Redick’s body that didn’t change his speed, quickness, balance or direction.
Since the Pelicans were in the double bonus, Redick went to the line for two free-throw attempts. The veteran, who’s perfect from the charity stripe this season, knocked down both shots to give New Orleans a 126-121 lead and make it a two-possession game.
The shot clock was turned off, but it appeared the Kings were going for the steal and had Redick triple-teamed when the refs blew the whistle. This could have been a crucial turning point, but it wasn’t the main reason the Kings lost the game. Sacramento’s defense again was sizzled, setting a franchise record by giving up at least 120 points in its eighth straight game.
Kings fans shouldn’t lose any sleep about the missed call. Even without Redick’s two points, it would have taken a quick steal and 3-pointer from the Kings to tie the score before the buzzer.