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BBNBA: Fox and Kings STEAL a Road Win Against Wolves

(Jordan Johnson | Getty Images)

(Jordan Johnson | Getty Images)

Good afternoon, folks. Former ‘Cats were honoring the late Kobe Bryant all Monday night. Let’s talk NBA.

“Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses.” — Kobe Bryant

RECAP

Minny drops 10th game in a row

Overtime losses are always heartbreakers. Falling in overtime to extend a seemingly endless string of 10 consecutive losses is soul-crushing. Doing so while blowing a 27-point lead might as well mark the end of a season. On Monday night, the Minnesota Timberwolves did just that, succumbing to the Sacramento Kings in extra time, 133-129.

Sacramento trailed by 17 points with under three minutes remaining to come back and win this game. That’s right, you read that correctly. Minnesota controlled a SEVENTEEN point lead with 2:49 left in regulation – and lost. According to ESPN Stats and Info, that was the first time in 8,378 attempts (holy shit!) that a team trailing by at least 17 with under three minutes left came back to win. It was wild. It was stupid. It was perfectly Minnesota.

The Kings went on a 33-11 run in the final quarter to force overtime. De’Aaron Fox executed one of the most clutch intentional misses I have ever seen when he perfectly rocketed the ball off the front of the rim so he could secure the rebound and drop in an easy layup. Just watch this BS.

How… HOW? How did that work? That shot sent the game to overtime where the Kings would outscore the Wolves 14-10. Fox finished the night with 22 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists but it was Buddy Hield’s career-high of 42 points in honor of Kobe Bryant that stole the show. Hield attempted 24 shots on the night and had 18 points in the final 4:36 of regulation.

”That’s the reason I wanted to play in the NBA because of Kobe,” Hield said following the game. ”I feel that he was with me. He never gives up. That’s always his mentality. Never give up. No matter what the stakes was, he was always pushing, always pressing. He’s making sure guys feel him. That’s what I did tonight.”

Karl-Anthony Towns posted a BBNBA-high of 23 points on 7-18 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and three assists but with seven miserable turnovers – a season-high. Towns was wearing a No. 24 jersey in the pre-game intros and also addressed the Minnesota crowd before the game to talk about Kobe.

Like many teams have done in recent days to honor Kobe, Minnesota opened the game by taking an 8-second backcourt violation which the Kings followed up with a 24-second shot clock violation the very next possession.

Adebayo’s smooth triple-double

Bam Adebayo dedicated his thrid career-triple double to Kobe Bryant.

The potential first-time All-Star went out and dropped 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists on 10-16 shooting from the floor with just one turnover. He never got to meet Kobe, but played in his honor.

”It was about honoring Kobe,” Adebayo said in the postgame. ”I felt like I had the `Mamba Mentality’ tonight. … I never got to meet him but he’s here in spirit.”

Miami built their lead late in the game thanks to a 19-2 run in the third quarter that pushed the lead to 24. The Heat improved to 13-0 at home against Eastern Conference teams this season while the Orlando Magic have now lost what is tied for the season-high of four consecutive games. Both teams took 8-second and 24-second violations at the beginning of the game, as well.

Tyler Herro added 13 points and four rebounds for the Heat.

Dallas beats OKC without Cauley-Stein

It could have been the debut game in a Dallas Mavericks uniform for the recently traded Willie Cauley-Stein, but we’ll have to wait at least one more game before he takes the court for his new team.

The former Golden State Warrior had been with the Dallas organization for less than 24 hours since the trade, so head coach Rick Carlisle decided to hold him out. The Mavericks were able to fend off the Thunder by a final score of 107-97.

Prior to the game, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was spotted pulling up to the venue with a No. 8 Kobe jersey, which he also wore when addressing the press in the locker rooms. SGA went for 16 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists for OKC, but shot just 5-20 from the floor (although he was 3-6 from deep).

”I just wanted to pay homage to a guy I looked up to growing up,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. ”There’s a lot of guys also in the league that look up to him. He’s done wonderful things for this game.”

Hamidou Diallo recorded six points and five rebounds for the Thunder while Nerlens Noel contributed nine points and eight rebounds after missing the last game due to surgery on his cheek.

Other notes

  • Trey Lyles registered 10 points and eight rebounds for the San Antonio Spurs, who fell in a close game to the Chicago Bulls, 110-109.
  • Brandon Knight could miss another 1-3 weeks for the Cleveland Cavaliers due to a nagging knee injury, according to reports from The Athletic.

Check out the full stat sheet below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)129-133 (OT) L vs. SAC237-18 (3-6)83117040
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)133-129 (OT) W @ MIN227-17 (0-3)78124+1337
Bam Adebayo (MIA)113-92 W vs. ORL2010-16 (0-1)1010101+1632
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)97-107 L vs. DAL165-20 (3-6)114013-632
Tyler Herro (MIA)113-92 W vs. ORL134-11 (2-5)41032+1230
Trey Lyles (SAS)109-110 L @ CHI103-7 (2-4)81010+226
Nerlens Noel (OKC)97-107 L vs. DAL93-4 (0-0)81011-618
Hamidou Diallo (OKC)97-107 L vs. DAL63-6 (0-0)50001-1018
Willie Cauley-Stein (DAL)107-97 W @ OKCDNP-CD----------------
Brandon Knight (CLE)115-100 W @ DETDNP-Knee----------------
Keldon Johnson (SAS)109-110 L @ CHIDNP-Inactive----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Knicks (Knox, Randle) @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk, Washington) 

7:00: Warriors @ 76ers

7:30: Pelicans (Miller-out) @ Cavaliers (Knight-out)

7:30: Hawks @ Raptors

8:00 (TNT): Celtics (Kanter) @ Heat (Adebayo, Herro)

8:00: Nuggets (Murray-out, Vanderbilt) @ Grizzlies

8:00: Wizards (Wall-out) @ Bucks (Bledsoe)

8:30: Suns (Booker) @ Mavericks (Cauley-Stein) 

POSTPONED: Clippers @ Lakers

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA. Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan