After years of waiting, De’Aaron Fox had a stunning playoff debut, leading the Sacramento Kings to a 126-123 win over the Golden State Warriors.
In front of a raucous home crowd that had been waiting since 2006 for a postseason game, Fox scored 38 points, tying for the second-highest scoring playoff debut in NBA history.
He hit the crucial 3-pointer that gave Sacramento the lead late in the fourth quarter and he scored 29 points in the second half after initially struggling to adjust to the playoff physicality.
The Kings closed out the game strongly against the Warriors, who had won four titles in the previous eight seasons. After Stephen Curry hit a 3-pointer that give Golden State a 114-112 lead with around four minutes remaining, the Kings responded with seven in a row, including Fox’s 3-pointer.
Although the Warriors kept fighting, cutting the deficit to one, Andrew Wiggins missed a crucial 3-pointer for the lead in the closing seconds, allowing the Kings to hold on for their first playoff win in 17 years.
It was a festive environment in Sacramento, where fans had gathered outside the arena hours before the game following an NBA-record 16-year playoff drought.
The noise level in the arena was deafening, and fans even brought back the cowbells that were so common during the Kings’ playoff runs two decades ago. The excitement appeared to take a toll on the inexperienced Kings, who struggled with their shooting early on but eventually found their rhythm and ended up with the win.
Kings coach Mike Brown praised Fox for his performance, saying, “You have to have guys on your team that can go make plays, and Foxy went and made plays tonight.” Fox took until his sixth season to reach the playoffs, but he certainly made the most of his opportunity, announcing himself as a star and proving that he can perform on the big stage.
Watch and Read Web-Stories: Sacramento Kings’ De’Aaron Fox Shines in Dazzling Playoff Debut with 38 Points Against Golden State Warriors.