The Kings were heating up when the late foul call in the tied game propels the Lakers to the win
Sacramento Guard By Aaron Fox was called for a foul on the Lakers Dennis Schroder with 3.1 seconds left, with the score tied at 134-134. The foul was on the floor, with Fox hitting Schroder in the hip with his thigh as the LA point guard tried to drive to the hoop. Since Sacramento was already in the penalty box, the foul resulted in two free throws for the Lakers.
The Kings challenged the call, but after a video review, the ruling was upheld. Schroder made both free throws to cap a 27-point night on 8-for-11 shooting from the field and 7-for-7 from the foul line.
Schroder’s foul shots ended up deciding the game, as Fox’s 43-footer from near the half-court line hit the back rim as time expired.
Fox, who led the Kings with 34 points and nine assists, left the arena without speaking to reporters. However, he offered his thoughts on the ending sequence in a since-deleted tweet, writing that the team thought it was supposed to “let the players decide the game.”
Schroder admitted that the nature of Fox’s foul will often go unnoticed in late-game situations, but that it was the right call under regulation.
“If it takes, it takes,” Schroder said with a laugh. “It’s a shame, because obviously the game is on the line, and it’s like free throws to win the game. I understand that point, for sure. But I mean, at the end of the day, you can’t foul.
“Especially when you’re in the bonus. He had a really good game, he was great, he played really well. To me, an All-Star with this team in fifth place, he’s doing a great job with this team.”
Schroder Center and Lakers Thomas Bryant have been playing like stars in their own right after both missed part of the start of the season, as coincidentally both required surgery on their left thumbs in the preseason.
Including Saturday’s win, LA is 16-11 since the pair debuted on the season.
Bryant was once again extremely effective playing Anthony Davis‘ absence, scoring a season-high 29 points on 12-of-14 shooting with 14 rebounds.
“Thomas Bryant, I mean he’s playing like an AD right now, close,” Schroder said. “Doing a great job of being ready, being ready. We’re finding it, getting second possessions for us — offensive rebounds, clutch buckets. He’s playing really well.”
The Lakers had four players score 20 or more points in the same game for the first time all season Saturday, with lebron james (37 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) i Russell Westbrook (23 points, 15 assists) also hurting.
“I’m just trying to figure it out and just trying to play for each other and not give up,” James said. “We don’t really care what other people say about our ball club or what happens on the outside. We just want to play the game. When you play the game the right way, I think the basketball gods come back to you . . .
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