Keegan Murray hit 12 3-pointers, setting several records to lead the Kings past the Jazz

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The third quarter of the Sacramento Kings’ 125-104 win over the Utah Jazz was unlike any in Kings history, thanks to Keegan Murray.

He found the bottom of the net with seven straight 3-pointers for 26 points en route to a franchise-record 12 made 3s, becoming the youngest player in the NBA to reach that mark at 23 years old. Murray’s third-quarter explosion also set a Sacramento record for most points and 3s in a quarter, surpassing Hall of Famer Mitch Richmond for points and Harrison Barnes and Omri Casspi for most 3s.

When the final buzzer sounded on Saturday, the second-year wing finished with a career-high 47 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals, zero turnovers on 16-of-23 shooting and connecting on 12 of his 15 3-pointers in 36 minutes. . That’s 69.6 percent from the field and 80 percent from long range. It was a special performance to get quite the bucket as De’Aaron Fox was sidelined with right shoulder irritation.

“It kind of reminded me of last year and in college when I was hot,” Murray said of the third-quarter flurry. “I’ve been unconscious for a while, and it’s as if whatever I put in is going to go in.”

And don’t worry, he’s got the game ball.

As Murray’s historic night began in Sacramento, Klay Thompson, who holds the league record for most three-pointers in a single game, was changing his clothes in the street after the Warriors’ victory over the Brooklyn Nets in San Francisco when he was alerted by the police. Journalists might be in trouble.

“Uh, I don’t care,” Thompson joked as Murray went 11 of 12 from 3-point range in the third quarter. “Did he do it in 27 minutes?”

Thompson, of course, needed just 27 minutes to hit 14 of 24 3s in a record-breaking 149-124 win at the Chicago Bulls on October 29, 2018.

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In the end, Murray didn’t set the NBA record. But Thompson was paying attention, catching glimpses of Kings-Jazz action on the television screen inside the locker room as he made his way toward the exits. When he left the building, Sacramento was on fire early in the fourth quarter, and coach Mike Brown — who spent six seasons as Steve Kerr’s right-hand man with the Warriors before joining the Kings last season — appeared to have put Murray out for good.

“Good job Mike B!” Thompson said with a smile. “A way to honor the basketball gods.”

As it turned out, Murray would return to the game less than three minutes later. He finally calmed down, though, missing the final two seconds before leaving the game with 2 minutes and 24 seconds left. Thompson wasn’t the only legendary Warriors shooter tracking Murray’s movements.

During the middle of the fourth quarter of the Kings game, Curry was in the middle of his postgame press conference on the podium when he was asked about Murray’s outing.

“In Sacramento, Keegan Murray started 12 of 13 from 3,” the reporter began.

Carrie’s eyes widened.

“He did what?!” He answered before asking a nearby reporter to play the game on his phone. “Is he still twelve? Pull him up…”

When it comes to volume and 3-point efficiency on a historic night of 3-point shooting, Curry knows what Murray felt as well as anyone. The league’s all-time leader in 3-point shooting made 13 of 17 3s in a 116-106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Nov. 8, 2016, breaking the then-record of 12 points set by Donnell Marshall in 2005 and marking his current career high. high.

On his only 12-pointer run – the epic “Bang, Bang!” The overtime win in Oklahoma City on February 27, 2016, tied Marshall’s record — he did it in 16 attempts.

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“It’s tough, because you have to find the good look and stay attractive throughout the game,” Curry said.

Brown gave Murray a chance to break Thompson’s record. Although he missed both 3s in the final frame, he punctuated his evening with a two-handed slam over Utah State’s Johnny Juzang.

“23 field goals, you score 47 points,” Brown said after the game. “And on top of that, you have to make four free throws. That’s crazy. Hell of a job for Keegan Murray and his teammates for trying to find him tonight.”

When the Browns finally ejected Murray from the game for good, the Golden 1 Center briefly booed before giving Murray a standing ovation.

“I’ve got a 25-point lead and if Keegan goes down and gets hurt, half the people who were yelling at me will be calling me names driven by an idiot,” Brown said with a smile on his face. “And who knows what comes next. He had the opportunity to get 50. I kept him a little longer than I probably should have.

Fans were in such ecstasy during Murray’s show that they shouted a signature “Keegan Murray!” chant, usually reserved for 3s, after he fouls a jazz player.

As soon as he reached the bench, his teammates embraced him with hugs and kisses. But Fox, who was perhaps his biggest fan on Saturday, and Malik Monk, reminded him they were the vets on the team. Murray accidentally tried to sit in Fox’s seat, only to have him move down the seat to his left and Monk remind him that was his place.

Murray has moved to the end of the bench, but was keen to tell Fox he is past the highs of his career.

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“We’re always competitive, me and Fox,” Murray said, smiling occasionally. “I just told him I was past his career high, but he told me he had more 40-point games. … I mean I’m still young on this team. They have more experience and they’ve done more in this league than I have, for sure.”

Kevin Huerter, no stranger to getting heated from behind the arc, explained Fox and Murray’s well-documented friendship as a “sibling rivalry.”

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“I honestly thought Fox had gotten 50 years before,” Huerter said. “So, I looked up and said, ‘Are you going to be mad when Keegan turns 50?’ And he was like, “Actually, I think my career high is 44.”

“So, I’m happy for him. I don’t think Keegan has a lot of bragging rights this summer in any of their matches, but he’s got this now. We’ll see how long it takes Fox to get 48.”

With the way Fox has been playing lately, there’s no telling when he might snatch away bragging rights from one of his best friends on the team.

Monk did not give up his seat to Murray, but he made sure to give him credit before lighting the beam. Asked how they could win without Fox, Monk said: “No. 13 years, he’s very good.”

Entering Saturday, Murray was shooting 30.4 percent from long range, down from his mark of 41.1 percent during his rookie season. But after scoring three points against the Jazz, he shot 35.5 percent through seven games in December — his best month of the year.

“The way I’ve played offensively this year, I feel like this game was a lot of emotions rolled into one,” Murray said. “It’s encouraging for me going forward this season with how good I have been offensively in this league.”

(Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

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