Coach Joerger and Buddy had an interaction after Buddy made a deep three late in the 4th quarter. pic.twitter.com/9ajKs85yiY
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) February 22, 2019
OAKLAND — It was a close game, then it wasn’t, then it got really close again.
For the fourth time on the season, the Warriors found themselves in a dogfight with the Sacramento Kings Thursday night at Oracle Arena. They trailed for much of the game but seemed to have the contest in hand with a six-point lead and 26 seconds remaining.
Six seconds later, Kings guard Buddy Hield pulled up from a cool 32 feet and cut the lead in half. But instead of getting praise from his coach, Dave Joerger, Hield appeared to get reprimanded.
Stephen Curry hit two shots after the exchange – one that Kevin Durant appeared to jump in on – and then Hield hit another long ball. After Andre Iguodala missed two free throws to ice the game, the Kings had a chance to tie with a two and win on a three.
Hield got the ball at the top of the key at the same spot he hit a shot 30 seconds earlier, and Klay Thompson left him uncontested far from the basket. Hield chose to drive and ended up missing a contested mid-range jumper.
Hield passes up the very deep three for the win after hitting nearly the same shot two possessions prior pic.twitter.com/JGqQFMN8pc
— Jake Hutchinson (@hutchdiesel) February 22, 2019
After the game, he seemed to think he made the wrong decision.
“I missed the shot. I should have pulled it,” Hield said. “I was just looking at the time and the score. I should have pulled it. No excuse. I should have pulled it.”
Seems like he should have pulled it. And Oakland native Damian Lillard agreed. He tweeted about the game and defended Hield.
Maybe if his coach didn’t yell at him for MAKING the same shot he would have shot the mf… https://t.co/uqtT7L8yMu
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) February 22, 2019
When asked after the game about his hesitation to shoot, Hield said he was “looking at the time and the score.” You have to wonder whether Hield had Joerger, who seemed unhappy with the shot selection two possessions prior, in the back of his mind.
Hield’s missed shot gave the Kings yet another gut-wrenching loss to the Warriors, who won all four matchups between the teams by a combined 12 points this season.