An exhilarating battle between the Kings and Warriors ended in bizarre fashion.
After nailing his only two 3-pointers eight seconds apart, Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield had a chance to fire away from deep and go for the win on Thursday night. But instead, he hesitated while wide open and wound up badly air-balling a two-pointer on the final shot of a 125-123 loss.
Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard chimed in on the shot selection, and it had nothing to do with Hield. Instead, he pointed a finger at Kings head coach Dave Joerger.
It's hard to argue with Lillard here. Despite nailing a deep triple with 18 seconds left to pull the Kings within three points of the Warriors, Joerger seemed to have an issue with Hield. The two quickly began a heated debate on the sidelines that was impossible to miss.
Even as Steph Curry took his free throws, the two kept going at it. Nobody enjoyed it more than Warriors forward Kevin Durant. After the game, Hield made it clear he should have taken the deep 3 with the game on the line, instead of hoisting up a chance at a tie.
"I should have pulled that b****, I should have pulled it," Hield said after the game.
Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox agreed, too.
"We were like, you should have shot that s***," Fox said. "You just made two of them. If we miss, we go home. If you make it, we go up one. It is what it is."
Shooters shot. If anyone is going to launch one from deep, it's Hield, who is shooting 44.6 percent from beyond the arc this season.
Joerger is a deserving Coach of the Year candidate, but if he was indeed getting on Hield for his shot selection after the sharpshooter pulled his team to within three points of the champs, it's one of his biggest blunders of the season.