By R.L. Bynum
Sacramento’s Harrison Barnes continued his hot start and came through in the clutch to beat the reigning Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns on the road.
Barnes took an inbounds pass from De’Aaron Fox with 1.4 seconds left, then buried a 3-pointer over Devin Booker from the left wing as time expired to give the Kings a 110–107 victory Wednesday night.
The Kings had blown a 13-point fourth-quarter lead but were set up for Barnes’ game-winner after Booker missed an 18-foot jumper with 4.1 seconds left and Sacramento’s Richaun Holmes pulled down the rebound.
Barnes, who scored 22 points on 10 of 18 shooting, then won the game despite being closely guarded by Booker.
It was Barnes’ second buzzer-beater in seven months after he hit a shot from the right wing March 27 to win beat Cleveland 98–97 in a home game.
“Honestly, we’re just trying to get a good look. We know worst-case scenario, we go to overtime,” said Barnes, who put up an 18.7 game score. “The biggest thing was we got a stop. Obviously the first half was tough for us. Buddy [Hield] got a great stop for us down the stretch and on that last play we were just trying to get a shot up.”
Barnes said that a victory like that for the Kings, who trailed 61–53 at halftime, showed that the team is better than last season.
“A game like that last year, we would come out in the second half and we would be down 12 and the game would kind of slip away from us,” Barnes said. “We would keep making the same mistakes over and over. I think it’s just a testament to where we are as a group that we’re able to get back into the game.”
His teammates, including Tyrese Haliburton, know that Barnes is a big reason why the 2–2 Kings are playing well.
“He’s had a great start to the season, he’s really been balling,” Haliburton said. “Putting the ball in the hole for us, helping lead us, just been doing a lot of things great. He’s the ultimate example as a vet. Not only as a player, but as a person. Just a great guy to have with us.”
Hield, who led the Kings with 26 points, said a big difference this year is Barnes’ approach.
Barnes, who is tied for seventh in the league with a 26.8 scoring average, has only attempted four mid-range jumpers in four games, according to The Athletic. Instead, he is attempting 8.2 3-pointers per game and driving to the hoop. Six of his field goals Wednesday were in the restricted area.
Cameron Johnson, who was on the court when Barnes hit the game-winner, had one point for Phoenix in 22 minutes, missing all four of his 3-point attempts.
Although Orlando’s season hasn’t started well, Cole Anthony has been consistent.
In the Magic’s 120–111 home loss to the Charlotte Hornets to fall to 1–4, Anthony had his fifth double-digit scoring game in five outings and second 20-point effort in three games. Starting at the 2 spot with rookie Jalen Suggs starting at point guard, Anthony collected 24 points, five rebounds, six assists, one steal and three turnovers.
Anthony shot 11 of 20 from the floor but made only two of seven 3-point attempts.
Nassir Little started for the second consecutive game and ninth time in his career, collecting nine points, six rebounds, one steal and a block in Portland’s easy 116–96 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
He is starting in place of Norman Powell, who has left patellar tendinopathy, was listed as questionable for the game and didn’t play.
Day’Ron Sharpe didn’t take a shot in two minutes of action in Brooklyn’s 106–93 victory against Miami.
Ed Davis finally made his Cleveland Cavaliers debut in their 92–79 road victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, going scoreless in one minute on the court.
How Tar Heels did Wednesday
Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
120–111 loss vs. Charlotte — Started; 34 minutes, 24 points, 11–20 FG, 2–7 3FG, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 3 turnovers, +10, 17.3 game score
Season statistics — 5 games, 17.0 points, 41.3 FG%, 31.4 3FG%, 80.0 FT%, 7.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists
Up next — 7 p.m. Friday at Toronto; 7 p.m. Saturday at Detroit
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings forward
110–107 win at Phoenix — 38 minutes, 22 points, 10–18 FG, 2–6 3FG, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 turnover, +4, 18.7 game score
Season statistics — 4 games, 26.8 points, 51.4 FG%, 51.5 3FG%, 78.3 FT%, 10.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists
Up next — 8 p.m. Friday at New Orleans; 3:30 Sunday at Dallas
Tony Bradley, Chicago Bulls center
Season statistics — 1 game, 2 points, 1–1 FG, 1 rebound, 1 block
Up next — 8 p.m. Thursday vs. New York; 8 p.m. Saturday vs. Utah
Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks guard/forward
Season statistics — 3 games, 6.7 points, 38.9 FG%, 35.7 3P%, 50.0 FT%, 2.7 rebounds, 0.3 of an assist
Up next — 8:30 Thursday vs. San Antonio; 10 p.m. Friday at Denver, ESPN
Ed Davis, Cleveland Cavaliers center
92–79 win at Los Angeles Clippers — (season debut) 1 minute, 0 points, -2, 0.0 game score
Up next — 10:30 Friday at Los Angeles Lakers; 10 p.m. Saturday at Phoenix
Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers guard
123–115 loss at Oklahoma City — Missed game with a left hamstring strain; still hasn’t made season debut
Up next — 10:30 Friday vs. Cleveland; 10:30 Sunday vs. Houston
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
Season statistics — 4 games, 7.3 points, 47.6 FG%, 45.0 3FG%, 2.8 rebounds
Up next — 7 p.m. Thursday vs. Detroit, NBATV; 7:30 Saturday vs. Atlanta, NBATV
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
110–107 loss vs. Sacramento — 22 minutes, 1 point, 0–4 FG, 0–4 3FG, 1–2 FT, 1 rebound, 1 block, -9, -1.6 game score
Season statistics — 4 games, 6.3 points, 34.6 FG%, 35.3 3FG%, 1.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists
Up next — 10 p.m. Saturday vs. Cleveland; 10 p.m. Tuesday vs. New Orleans, TNT
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers forward/guard
116–96 win vs. Memphis — Started; 27 minutes, 9 points, 3–4 FG, 0–1 3FG, 3–3 FT, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers, +5, 7.1 game score
Season statistics — 4 games, 9.3 points, 57.7 FG%, 40.0 3P%, 60.0 FT%, 5.0 rebounds, 0.8 of an assist
Up next — 10 p.m. Friday vs. Los Angeles Clippers; 7 p.m. Sunday at Charlotte, BSSE
Day’Ron Sharpe, Brooklyn Nets center
106–93 win vs. Miami — 2 minutes, 0 points, +2, 0.0 game score
Season statistics — 3 games, 2 points, 1–2 FG, 0–1 3FG
Up next — 7:30 Friday vs. Indiana; 7:30 Sunday vs. Detroit
Recovering from injury
Coby White, Chicago Bulls guard (had left shoulder surgery; unlikely to play until late November)
In G League
Justin Jackson, Texas Legends forward (Dallas Mavericks affiliate); opener Nov. 5 at Lakeland Magic (Orlando Magic affiliate)
Theo Pinson, Maine Celtics guard (Boston Celtics affiliate); opener Nov. 5 at College Park Skyhawks (Atlanta Hawks affiliate)