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‘I got fouled’ De’Aaron Fox calls out officials after costly turnover against Suns

© Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox had the ball in his hands down one with a chance to win the game against the Phoenix Suns on the final possession.

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However, he was stripped by Bradley Beal, and the Suns (48-33) ended up winning 108-107 to clinch a top-7 seed in the Western Conference. Sacramento (45-36) dropped back in the play-in standings from the No. 8 seed to the No. 9 seed with its fifth loss in six games and only one game remaining for every team.

“I got fouled, wasn’t even close to the ball,” said Fox, who finished with 23 points, after the loss. “You can go watch it, (Beal) very clearly got me. When it’s me, they always say, ‘I didn’t see it’ or ‘marginal contact.’ It doesn’t matter what the play was, if I got fouled, I got fouled. I’m trying to pick up the ball, hits my whole arm, they get the steal.”

(Video via ABC 10 Sacramento’s Matt George)

Kings’ coach Mike Brown shared a similar sentiment to Fox.

“I’m just baffled,” Brown said. “I don’t know why we can’t get a call by an NBA official down the stretch.”

Whether the play was a foul or not, it led to perhaps the most excited the Suns have been this season, especially Beal.

“We wanted this win,” said Beal, who had 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, after the game. “It’s playoff time, we can’t lose … We want to win a ring. It’s time. It’s time. I’m hype as hell, let’s go!”

Fox actually hit a game-winner over Beal in the past when Beal was in Washington.

“I’ve always had that in the back of my head, I got to get a stop,” Beal said.

(Video/highlight via AZ Central’s Duane Rankin)


Suns’ coach Frank Vogel said he sent “everybody” Fox, who won last year’s NBA Clutch Player of the Year Award, on the final play because he knew he was getting the ball.

“Just go, everybody go,” Vogel said. “Seemed like the whole team ran at him, but Brad got the steal.”

(via Rankin)

Free throws, coupled with Beal’s strong close, actually ended up winning the game for the Suns, who were down as many as 16 in the third quarter.

Beal made arguably the play of the night with 1:02 left when he stole a Domantas Sabonis pass to Fox and took it all the way for an uncontested layup to make it 107-105 Kings. 

A foul by Sabonis on a rebound allowed Kevin Durant to tie the game at 107 at the free throw line with 51 seconds left. Then, Jusuf Nurkić hit one out of two free throws with eight seconds left after Sabonis fouled him on another box-out situation.

Beal then made the game-winning play by stealing the ball from Fox.

The Kings only shot 35% in the fourth quarter, while Beal had 18 of his 20 points in the second half on 8-of-9 shooting. Fox shot 2-for-7 in the fourth quarter.

Sacramento will now fight an uphill battle to try to regain a spot in the first round of the play-in. Right now, the Kings are tied with the Warriors with the same record, but own the head-to-head tiebreaker over them, while the Los Angeles Lakers (46-35) are one game ahead of them.

The Suns, on the other hand, can move out of the play-in and into the No. 6 seed if the Lakers defeat the New Orleans Pelicans Sunday and Phoenix wins its last game of the regular season on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves (56-25), as the Suns have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Pelicans.

The No. 7 seed hosts the No. 8 seed to begin the play-in, while the No. 9 seed hosts the No. 10 seed in a separate matchup. The winner of the 7-8 game advances to the playoffs to play the No. 2 seed. The loser plays the winner of the 9-10 game, and the winner of this contest advances to the playoffs to play the No. 1 seed.

Sacramento hosts the Portland Trail Blazers (21-60) tomorrow to close out its season.

Bradley Beal was HYPED After Suns’ Win Over Kings

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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