The Detroit Pistons had their third consecutive victory within grasp, but lost it in the fourth quarter culminating in a miraculous buzzer-beating shot from Sacramento Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield.
With 3.4 seconds remaining and Detroit leading by a point, Hield took an in-bounds pass from Bogdan Bogdanovic. He bobbled the initial pass, took one dribble, picked up the ball and appeared to take another dribble before launching a shot that caught nothing but net, giving the Kings the win and stunning the crowd at Little Ceasars Arena.
BUDDY CALLED GAME!!! pic.twitter.com/oYQ22qgXyA
— Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) January 20, 2019
But was it legal?
Not surprisingly, the Pistons didn’t think so.
“Fumbling the ball, taking a controlled dribble to gather the ball, picking it up with two hands then taking another dribble definitely works to your advantage,” a visibly frustrated Blake Griffin said in the locker room following the game.
Additionally, Pistons center Zaza Pachulia echoed his teammate’s sentiments.
“Once he picked up the ball, he couldn’t dribble anymore,” Pachulia said. “That’s messed up. Unfortunately he did. He got by me easy because it was sort of surprising. One-foot floater from (three-point range)? C’mon.”
Hield, however, had a different recollection.
“It still doesn’t feel real to me,” Hield said after the game. “It feels like they were supposed to call traveling or something like that…..I lost the ball, I didn’t have possession of the ball. I just tried to catch it, and I lost it. It’s whatever. It counts as a win, so we’ll take it.”
“As a kid, you always dream of hitting one of those types of shots, especially at a high level like this,” Hield continued. “It’s something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.”
“It just always gives us a chance to win,” guard De’Aaron Fox said of Hield’s shooting. “We go into every game feeling like we can win.”