A reminder on The Horry Scale: It breaks down a game-winning buzzer-beater (GWBB) in the categories of difficulty, game situation (was the team tied or behind at the time?), importance (playoff game or garden-variety night in November?) and celebration. Then we give it an overall grade on a scale of 1-5 Robert Horrys, named for the patron saint of last-second answered prayers.
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GAME SITUATION: It’s been a difficult season for the Kings, who had suffered six double-digit defeats in December alone heading into Wednesday’s game with the Mavs. While another blowout wasn’t in store, the end result was shaping up the same — another L — as they blew a 13-point lead in the third quarter and found themselves trailing by two heading into the game’s final possession. Enter one of the unlikeliest heroes on the roster: Backup center Chimezie Metu, who channeled his inner Stephen Curry to knock down the game-winning corner 3 as time expired.
DIFFICULTY: As far as game-deciding possessions go, you couldn’t ask for a much better look after De’Aaron Fox sucked Metu’s defender, Dwight Powell, into the paint and kicked out to the corner, where he didn’t have a defender within 10 feet as he let it fly. Given that Metu entered Wednesday’s game shooting a miserable 24.1% from 3-point range, it wasn’t a bad decision by Powell to cut off Fox. But all credit to Metu for making him and the Mavericks pay.
“The play was for (Fox), obviously,” Metu said. “But there was a game earlier this year where he said if I was open, he was going to throw it to me. Obviously (the Mavericks) were playing the numbers. (My teammates) always tell me to keep shooting … so it feels great that they believe and trust the work I’ve been putting in.”
locker room 𝓋𝒾𝒷𝑒𝓈 pic.twitter.com/4lUGFv1K4v
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) December 30, 2021
CELEBRATION: Is primal joy a thing? Metu did his best to act like he’d done it before, but his teammates showed no such restraint as they mobbed him while Golden 1 Center exulted.
GRADE: Game-winners are always sweet. Given all the misery they’ve endured this season, this one was that much sweeter for the Kings, who might actually be showing signs of life with seven wins in their past 14 outings. Three Horrys.