Over the last fortnight, the Sacramento Kings are one of the hottest teams in the league. In fact, over the last eight games, they are tied with the Utah Jazz for the league-best 7-1 record.
There are multiple reasons for Sacramento's recent revival but one of the biggest reasons has been the play of their point guard De'Aaron Fox. It's not just about the numbers, it's about who's he's doing it against, when he's doing it, and how.
Over the past eight games, Fox is averaging 27.0 points and 7.8 assists. More importantly, he seems to be getting into the habit of taking over games late, averaging 10.0 points per game in the fourth quarter - third-best in the league behind Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine.
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In the team's most recent win, in Los Angeles against the Clippers, he was at it once again. In this one, he scored 12 of his 36 in the final quarter including this drive against one of the best defenders in the league in Kawhi Leonard.
No one was stopping Swipa from getting to the endzone 😤@swipathefox #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/zX4y4CL6Zq- Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 7, 2021
The Kings held on to beat the Clippers 113-110, and improve to 12-11 - the first time Sacramento is above .500 since New Year's Day.
Through multiple times during the team's recent hot run, Fox has come up clutch.
The standout performance came a week ago, against the Pelicans in New Orleans, where he scored 17 of his 38 points in the final quarter as the Kings wrapped up the road trip with a 118-109 win. He scored or assisted on 22 of the team's 31 fourth-quarter points while the Pelicans only managed 15.
That wasn't the only time he's scored double-digit points in the fourth quarter. A few days earlier, Fox matched Jayson Tatum for scoring in the final period with 13, helping the Kings defeat the Boston Celtics 116-111.
De'Aaron is on another level in the 4th quarter 🔥 pic.twitter.com/DeUeiY8BEZ- Kings on NBCS (@NBCSKings) February 4, 2021
Just after that game, the Kings were witness to one of the greatest performances in NBA history as Nikola Jokic put up 50 points, 12 assists, and eight rebounds. The Serbian center was carrying his team to victory, scoring 23 in the fourth but the Kings stayed alive behind key performances from multiple players. Fox was one of four 20-point scorers for the Kings with 24, seven of which in the final three minutes, to ensure Sacramento held on for the win.
For the season, through 23 games, Fox is averaging near career-high numbers - 23.0 points (career-high), 6.5 assists (0.3 short of career-high) while shooting 48.0% (career-high) from the field and 36.1% from distance (1.0% short of career-high).
If Fox keeps racking up such numbers and the team continues winning, the Kings could possibly have their first All-Star guard since Mitch Richmond in 1998.
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