Watch Luguentz Dort steal ball from Fox, lay-in game-winner for Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Luguentz Dort stole the ball from De’Aaron Fox, then quickly dribbled down the court and made a contested layup in traffic with 1.7 seconds left to give the Oklahoma City Thunder a 105-103 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
“I was just trying to stay in front of him,” Dort said about guarding Fox. “I mean, I didn’t really move my hand that much, he just kind of just lost the ball and I just took it, and then I had to go up strong. I knew there was not that much time left and I had to go and finish.”
It was the kind of hustle play the Thunder used to overcome an 18-point deficit in the second half.
“Great play,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “He’s just a monster, and we’ve got a bunch. And we had a lot of plays like that. We had big time, big time competitive juice plays.”
Sacramento’s Buddy Hield, the former University of Oklahoma star, missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have won it for the Kings. Instead, it was Oklahoma City’s fourth straight win.
“I just feel like we got some good looks in the first half, we just didn’t finish it,” Dort said. “You know, sometimes it happens, and we’ve just got to play through everything.”
Dort and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 22 points and Darius Bazley added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder.
Harrison Barnes scored 21 points and Richaun Holmes added 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Kings. They have lost four straight.
“I’m at a loss for words for tonight,” Barnes said. “But I think in general, if we’re going to preach consistency, we have to live up to that, and right now there’s too many areas in our game where we’re not doing that.”
Sacramento led 62-48 at halftime as Holmes had 10 points and 11 rebounds on 5-for-5 shooting. The Kings held the Thunder to 35.8% shooting before the break.
Chimezie Metu’s 3-pointer rattled in to put the Kings up 77-63 about five minutes into the third quarter. The Thunder trailed by 18 with 5:20 left in the period before cutting their deficit to nine heading into the fourth.
Oklahoma City tied it at 90 on a layup by Bazley, and a 3-pointer by rookie Tre Mann gave the Thunder their first lead of the night at 93-92.
Kings coach Luke Walton said his team is learning about its resolve.
“It’s being tested, but it’s not going anywhere,” he said. “We’re 13 games into a season, and yeah, it’s a tough patch right now, but we’re not going anywhere. We’re sticking together. We’ll get through it together.”
Fox scored 16 points and Hield added 14.