After review, NBA rules Hield's buzzer-beater was legal

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield (24) shoots the winning 3-point basket.

Detroit — In the final seconds of their loss to the Kings on Saturday night, the Pistons didn’t get the call.

After further review by NBA officials on Sunday, they still didn’t get it.

In the aftermath of the Pistons’ 103-101 loss to the Kings at Little Caesars Arena — with Buddy Hield’s last-second 3-pointer providing the winning score — the league agreed with the official’s no-call on what looked to be a double-dribble.

“Hield (SAC) fumbles the inbound pass and subsequently bats the ball to the floor as he attempts to gain control,” the Last-Two-Minute Report read. “He picks up the ball with both hands thereafter, establishing full control, and legally takes one dribble prior to the start of his upward shooting motion.”

On the play, Hield didn’t handle the inbounds pass and lost the ball but looked to try to gain control with a one-handed dribble. With the ball out of his reach, he appeared to dribble it again with one hand before grabbing the ball with one hand, making a controlled dribble, splitting two defenders, then heaving the desperation shot. The 3-pointer went through the nets with no time remaining and the game was over.


The Kings overcame a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter and ended the Pistons’ two-game win streak.

Blake Griffin, who grumbled with the officials for most of the night, thought the call should have been clear.

“Fumbling the ball, taking a controlled dribble to gather the ball, picking it up with two hands then taking another dribble definitely works to your advantage,” Griffin said. “I can’t say anything about the officiating, but I don’t know that I’ve ever been part of a game like that. (I’m) very frustrated. I’m almost at a loss for words at what happened.”

Zaza Pachulia, who was defending Hield on the play, thought he saw the same thing that Griffin did.

“He picks up the ball and dribbles again — I thought that was illegal; you can’t dribble twice,” he said.

Twitter: @detnewsRodBeard