‘I don’t know why we can’t get a call by an NBA official down the stretch’: Mike Brown on controversial Kings vs. Suns ending

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Brown was frustrated after a controversial ending to the Kings’ matchup against the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

Kings guard De’Aaron Fox had a chance to win the game in the final moments, but he lost the ball when attempting to go up for a shot, allowing the Suns to run out the clock and secure a 108-107 victory.

After the game, Fox shared that he thought he was fouled on the play. Had Fox been sent to the free-throw line, he could’ve given the Kings the lead.

Brown also was bothered by the officiating, wondering what his team needs to do to get a call from the officials down the stretch of a game.

With Friday’s loss, the Kings slipped to the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference with just one game left in their 2023-24 regular season.

That is a huge development, as it means Sacramento may have to win multiple play-in tournament games in order to make the playoffs. Had the team remained in the No. 8 spot, it would have been in position to have two chances to win one game to make the postseason through the league’s play-in tournament.

There is still a chance that the Kings could move up to No. 8 in the West before the end of the regular season, but they’ll need some help to get there.

Right now, Sacramento is one game back of the Los Angeles Lakers in the West. Los Angeles holds the No. 8 seed, but the Kings have the tiebreaker over it since they swept the Lakers during the regular season.

That means the Kings could end up in the No. 8 spot if they win their final game of the regular season on Sunday against the Portland Trail Blazers and the Lakers lose to the New Orleans Pelicans.

On the bright side for the Kings, New Orleans still is fighting to stay in the No. 6 seed and hold off the Suns, so it should be looking to win against Los Angeles rather than resting players for the postseason.

Last season, Brown and the Kings ended up with the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, but they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Golden State Warriors. No matter what, the team will have to make the postseason by way of the play-in tournament in the 2023-24 campaign.

Hopefully for the Kings, they won’t have any more games come down to controversial last-second plays that don’t go in their favor this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.