Just over five years after the Charlotte Hornets' 'Miracle after Midnight' in Sacramento, the 2020-21 edition of the team added a sequel to it against the same opponent in the same city.
The undermanned Hornets came back from eight down in the final minute of the game, to hand the Kings their sixth straight home loss and the 10th in their last 11 games.
The Kings led by 8 points with 1 minute left.- StatMuse (@statmuse) March 1, 2021
They proceeded to miss 5 straight free throws as the Hornets went on a 12-3 run to win the game. pic.twitter.com/i5r918ROeP
This win came despite the Charlotte franchise missing key starters in Gordon Hayward, Cody Zeller, and Devote Graham. How did they do it?
Multiple young guys spark Hornets dramatic victory
Malik Monk's clutch and-1, with 1.9 seconds remaining, sealed the win.
Prior to that field goal attempt, he was having a sub-par shooting game off the bench with 18 points on 7-of-18 shooting from the field and 0-of-7 from beyond the arc. After receiving DNPs in 13 of the season's first 17 games, Monk has been delivering for the Hornets off the bench.
By finishing with 21 in this one, he's scored 20 or more in five of the last six games.
Next up, PJ Washington.
The 6'7" forward erupted for a career-high 42 points while contributing across the board with nine rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks. At just 22 years old, he's the youngest Hornets player with a 40-point game.
CAREER-HIGH 42 for @PJWashington, capped by a CLUTCH late three in the @hornets thrilling win! 🐝 pic.twitter.com/HxZNTxArt2- NBA (@NBA) March 1, 2021
LaMelo Ball, since receiving the starting spot, has been repaying the team's faith.
The No. 3 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft showed out in this one as well, finishing with his third 20p/10a double-double - the most by a Hornets' rookie ever.
🔥 24 points- NBA Draft (@NBADraft) March 1, 2021
🔥 12 dimes (career-high)@MELOD1P double-double in the @hornets win! pic.twitter.com/ulmaM5ADX8
Monk, Washington, and Ball were the team's three 20-point scorers, combining for 87 of the team's 127 points. However, another player came up huge for the team late in the fourth quarter, and that was Terry Rozier.
He only finished with eight points for the game on 2-of-9 shooting from the field but six of those were part of Hornets' 12-3 game-winning run.
Revisiting the original 'Miracle After Midnight'
On Jan. 25, 2016, an undermanned Hornets (missing Nicolas Batum, Cody Zeller, Jeremy Lamb) came back from a 17-point first-half deficit and overcame a 56-point game from DeMarcus Cousins to win 129-128 in double overtime.
The victory came courtesy of a huge game off the bench from Troy Daniels, including the game-winner.
Dubbed 'Miracle After Midnight', the game was one of the top 10 moments of the decade for the Hornets franchise.
Hield leads Kings offence, sets NBA record
With 1:19 left to play, the Kings were set to win consecutive games for the first time since the first week of February. However, the collapse meant they slip to 13-21 - among the bottom five records in the league.
In this one, Buddy Hield led the team's balanced scoring with six double-digit scorers. He dropped 30 points, 24 of which came from beyond the arc.
En route to dropping the team-high tally, he set the NBA record by becoming the fastest player to 1,000 3-pointers, breaking Steph Curry's record.
With 8 threes tonight, Buddy Hield became the fastest player in NBA History to reach 1,000 career made threes (350 games).- NBA History (@NBAHistory) March 1, 2021
The 3 other players to reach 1,000 made threes in fewer than 400 games:
Stephen Curry (369 games)
Klay Thompson (372 games)
Damian Lillard (385 games) pic.twitter.com/Q7EOABLffY
Harrison Barnes (28 points, six rebounds, six assists) and De'Aaron Fox (20 points, 14 assists) were the other key contributors in the loss.
The Hornets don't have a lot of time to enjoy this victory, as they travel to Portland to play Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers on the second night of a back-to-back.
Meanwhile, the Kings have a couple of days off before hosting the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.
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