De’Aaron Fox was in his bag on Saturday.
The former Kentucky Wildcat turned Sacramento Kings point guard battled it out against the recent No. 1 Draft pick, Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic. The star-studded matchup didn’t disappoint, either. Fox stunned the Orlando crowd after canning a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from just inside the halfcourt line to beat the Magic 126-123 in overtime.
But it was how we even got to that point that made the shot all the more spectacular. The Magic hit a free throw with under 12 seconds left in overtime to cut the Kings’ lead to 123-121. A poorly placed inbounds pass to Malik Monk in the corner of the backcourt led to a wild throw from Monk that went to a Magic player for an easy dunk. Tie game.
Then Fox went to work.
Fox finished his night with a BBNBA-high of 37 points on 14-24 shooting to go along with five rebounds and three assists in 40 minutes of action. He bested the effort of Banchero, who recorded 33 points and 16 rebounds, becoming the first teenager to post such numbers in a single game since LeBron James did it nearly two decades ago.
Despite nearly costing the Kings in the closing seconds, Monk had a solid overall night. He added 15 points and five assists for Sacramento on 5-10 shooting, including a 3-7 mark from distance. The third former ‘Cat for the Kings, Trey Lyles, also chipped in 15 points on 5-10 shooting, going 4-7 from long range.
Julius Randle pops off in loss to Celtics
It was a much-needed big night from New York Knicks big man Julius Randle. The 2021 NBA All-Star played his best outing of the season against the Boston Celtics, although it came in a 133-118 losing effort. Randle posted a team-high 29 points for the Knicks in addition to his nine rebounds and two assists. He also shot 10-19 from the field and 3-7 from beyond the arc.
Randle’s 18.9 points per game average are his lowest-scoring figure since he was with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2017-18 (16.1 PPG), but he’s scoring more efficiently inside the paint and slowly reducing his outside shot attempts. The addition of Jalen Brunson, a premier playmaker, at point guard has eased the offensive load off of Randle. New York is only just 4-5 to start the season, but head coach Tom Thibodeau is introducing more youngsters into the rotation.
One of those youngsters is third-year player Immanuel Quickley, who only played 13 minutes off the bench for the Knicks. IQ added four points and two rebounds on 2-6 shooting.
Keldon Johnson shines, but Jamal Murray picks up the W
Up in the high altitude of Denver, Nuggets’ point guard Jamal Murray continues to work back to his former self after being sidelined for 18 months with an ACL injury. Cruising to a 126-101 win over the surprisingly solid San Antonio Spurs, Murray went for 13 points and nine assists while shooting 6-10 from the floor. He played just 23 minutes, turning the ball over one time. Through eight games this season, the 25-year-old is averaging 15.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 3.8 assists on a shooting split of 43.2/38.5/69.2.
On the other side of the court, the Spurs’ Most Improved Player candidate, Keldon Johson, had another productive outing. The fourth-year forward unloaded 25 points, three rebounds, and four assists on the Nuggets while connecting on eight of his 14 shot attempts.
Other BBNBA notes
- Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns breezed past Shaedon Sharpe and the Portland Trail Blazers by a final count of 102-82. Booker was steady once again, going for 24 points, three rebounds, and three assists on 9-20 shooting. Sharpe was in the Blazers’ starting lineup for the fourth consecutive game, contributing 13 points and four rebounds on 6-12 shooting.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has been red-hot to begin the season for the Oklahoma City Thunder, had his worst night of the year thus far. The early MVP candidate finished with a season-low 18 points on 7-16 shooting in a 14-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
- For the Charlotte Hornets, PJ Washington dropped 18 points, three rebounds, two assists, and a season-high four blocks in a four-point loss to the Brooklyn Nets. His teammate, Nick Richards, added 10 points and nine rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench. Both Washington and Richards are off to career-best starts this season.
- Karl-Anthony Towns and the new-look Minnesota Timberwolves moved to .500 on the season with a 129-117 win over the Houston Rockets. KAT was efficient all game, posting 25 points, nine rebounds, six assists, one steal, and a pair of blocks on 9-14 shooting, including a clip 3-6 from distance.
|De’Aaron Fox (SAC)||126-123 (OT) W @ ORL||37||14-24 (2-7)||5||3||1||0||4||40||-12|
|Julius Randle (NYK)||133-118 L vs. BOS||29||10-19 (3-7)||9||2||0||0||3||40||-8|
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||129-117 W vs. HOU||25||9-14 (3-6)||9||6||1||2||3||30||-1|
|Keldon Johnson (SAS)||126-101 L @ DEN||25||8-14 (4-7)||3||4||0||0||3||31||-16|
|Devin Booker (PHX)||102-82 W vs. POR||24||9-20 (2-7)||3||3||1||2||1||29||19|
|PJ Washington (CHA)||98-94 L vs. BKN||18||5-11 (3-6)||3||2||0||4||0||34||1|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)||108-94 L @ MIL||18||7-16 (0-1)||1||3||1||1||2||31||-19|
|Trey Lyles (SAC)||126-123 (OT) W @ ORL||15||5-10 (4-7)||3||2||0||1||2||29||10|
|Malik Monk (SAC)||126-123 (OT) W @ ORL||15||5-10 (3-7)||1||5||0||0||1||28||16|
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||126-101 W vs. SAS||13||6-10 (1-3)||1||9||0||0||1||23||17|
|Shaedon Sharpe (POR)||102-82 L @ PHX||13||6-12 (1-2)||4||0||0||1||2||27||-4|
|Nick Richards (CHA)||98-94 L vs. BKN||10||3-5||9||1||0||0||2||17||9|
|Immanuel Quickley (NYK)||133-118 L vs. BOS||4||2-6 (0-2)||2||1||1||0||0||13||-16|
|Olivier Sarr (POR)||102-82 L @ PHX||DNP-Wrist||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|TyTy Washington (HOU)||129-117 L @ MIN||DNP-Knee||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
Tonight in the NBA
3:30: Cavaliers @ Lakers (Davis, Gabriel)
6:00: Bulls @ Raptors
6:00: Wizards @ Grizzlies
10:00: Jazz (Vanderbilt) @ Clippers (Boston, Wall)