Update: Fox has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 ankle sprain, which will keep him out for roughly 1-3 weeks.
If anyone doubted just how good De’Aaron Fox is, even after winning last season’s inaugural Clutch Player of the Year award, there is absolutely no room for it now.
While facing the visiting Lakers, Fox hurt his ankle in the fourth quarter, which drew much concern from both Kings fans and other basketball fans who have grown to enjoy the high-octane offense that Fox and the Kings produce every game.
Fox did come back in the fourth quarter and briefly played in overtime to finish with 37 points and eight assists, he was clearly laboring as the adrenaline worn off.
As one of the team’s two leaders, Fox felt the need to come back for his teammates, especially since co-star Domantas Sabonis fouled out of the game. However, we’ve now got to see how bad the injury is, and there’s currently no word on it. From seeing the injury happen in real time, he should likely miss at least a couple of games.
Fox’s sheer determination definitely rubbed off on his teammates, though. He scored a few more buckets after coming back from the locker room and he galvanized his team into keeping up the pressure on the Lakers in overtime, which led to an important victory over a division rival.
With Fox resting most of overtime, it was time for Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk to shine.
Huerter, who was 1 of 10 from the three-point line in his two previous games, pulled off a bit of a revenge game. He had 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks in an all-around performance that made his teammates happy for him. He only shot 4 of 12 overall, but made 3 of 7 long range attempts, including the dagger three that broke the Lakers’ comeback.
Monk was also pivotal in overtime, where he scored 12 of his 22 points. Monk made a number of mistakes throughout the game, but he came through when it mattered most, much to the delight of the home crowd.
The Kings, who finished third in the Western Conference last year largely on the back of good health, now face a murky situation in the near future. The hope is that Fox will only miss a few games, but ankle injuries can be problematic, especially for an athletic player who relies so much on speed and agility like Fox.
The Lakers will be disappointed with the loss, especially since Anthony Davis had a solid game with 30 points, 16 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. LeBron James also had 27 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. The Lakers had a 34-24 advantage in free throw attempts, but that was also not enough to overcome a 1 of 12 night from Austin Reaves.