While Kentucky basketball tips off Friday, former Wildcats have been busy making an impact in the young NBA season. Two of them came through in the final moments for the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.
The team trailed 108-107 to the Philadelphia 76ers with a little less than 30 seconds left before Willie Cauley-Stein and De’Aaron Fox each made a big play on both ends of the floor to snap Philadelphia’s five-game winning streak.
First, it was Cauley-Stein coming up with a block on 76ers center Joel Embiid, 1 of 2 big rejections Cauley-Stein had against the big man late in the game. Here’s a look at both.
Willie Cauley-Stein giving Joel Embiid the business with 2 huge blocks pic.twitter.com/rPAeJpgIRO
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) November 10, 2017
So then it was rookie guard De’Aaron Fox’s turn on the other end. Here’s a look at Fox nailing the jumper with about 13 seconds left before Cauley-Stein contests Embiid’s last attempt, which missed as the Kings pulled out the 109-108 victory.
Afterwards, you can see Fox celebrating with his teammates, including Cauley-Stein.
“He stops, he pops, DE’AARON FOX!”
The rookie hits the game-winner vs the 76ers. 🦊 pic.twitter.com/ObZ8bAQdBF
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 10, 2017
It was a major win for the Kings, who have now won two straight over the Thunder and 76ers after getting off to a disappointing 1-8 start.
Fox, who was taken with the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, finished with 11 points (4 of 13 shooting), 7 assists and 4 rebounds. Cauley-Stein recorded 15 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and those 2 blocks shown above.
Skal Labissiere, a first-round pick in the 2016 draft, was also in action for the Kings. He finished with 2 points, 4 rebounds and a block.