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NBA -- Buzzer-beating 3 helps Kings avoid huge collapse


PhilBoxing.com




SACRAMENTO -- As the clock ticked to its last 1:22 before halftime, the Sacramento Kings enjoyed a 68-41 lead over the visiting New York Knicks and were headed straight toward an easy victory at the Sleep Train Arena.

But leave it to the Kings to make things complicated.

In a horrible second half where they played poor defense and shot the ball horribly, Sacramento surrendered every one of their massive 27-point lead. Outscored 31-15 in the third quarter, the Kings' woes carried over into the final period where they trailed by four points with 33.2 seconds left to play.

After a pair of Isaiah Thomas free throws pushed Sacramento to within 105-103, Knicks guard Jason Kidd turned over the ball with 15.8 seconds to go. That set the stage for, of all people, James Johnson to bury the game-winning triple as time ran out. Kings 106, Knicks 105.

"I wasn't looking anywhere except for the rim. There was no passing that one after I got the ball. I knew I had to put it up with confidence and that's what I did," Johnson, who was 1-for-11 beyond the arc entering the game, told the Sacramento Bee.

Johnson finished with 17 points for the Kings, who made a season-high 15 three-pointers that sent the Knick reeling early. Marcus Thornton had 18 while center DeMarcus Cousins returned from a two-game suspension to swish 15 points and colect 10 rebounds.

Karma comes back around quickly. It's a bad feeling," Knicks guard J.R. Smith, who had a game-high 28 points, told the New York Times. Barely 48 hours before their fall in Sacramento, Smith sank a buzzer-beater that lifted New York past the Suns at the US Airways Center in Phoenix.

The depleted Knicks played without Carmelo Anthony (hyperextended left knee), Raymond Felton (fractured right fifth finger) and Rasheed Wallace (sore left foot), but they got a monster effort from Tyson Chandler, 21 points and 18 rebounds. Chris Copeland added 23 while Jason Kidd chalked 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists. (AGM, JR.)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Alberto G. Montefalcon, Jr..


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