Kings rookie Tyrese Haliburton gets ultimate compliment from Luke Walton
Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton gave his rookie point guard Tyrese Haliburton the ultimate compliment on Friday. Walton said the 20-year-old playmaker possesses the “clutch gene,” shortly after he bailed the team out in their 126-124 win over the Toronto Raptors inside Amalie Arena.
Luke Walton on Tyrese Haliburton who struggled shooting but hit a big 3 late to give the Kings a four-point lead: "He's got the clutch gene."
— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) January 30, 2021
With under a minute left in regulation, the Kings had possession of the ball and were trying to add to their one-point advantage. Hassan Whiteside, however, flubbed a two-handed dunk that almost turned the tides against their favor. Fortunately, he cleaned up his own miss and kicked the ball out to a wide-open Haliburton on the right-wing. The former Iowa State standout calmly took his time and launched his patented set-shot to give Sacramento a comfortable four-point cushion.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 30, 2021
Prior to that make, Tyrese Haliburton missed his first six 3-point attempts in the game. Luke Walton is certainly happy that his young player kept his confidence and drained the biggest shot when it mattered the most. He finished with a strong double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds in 33 minutes.
This isn’t actually the first time Haliburton came up big in the clutch for the Kings. He also drilled another game-winning trey against the Chicago Bulls earlier this January.
Tyrese Haliburton with the big 3 late as the Kings win. pic.twitter.com/IZtwjZBNVg
— NBA (@NBA) January 7, 2021
Entering the 2021 Draft, the biggest criticism scouts had for Haliburton was his unconventional-looking set-shot. While he did make 42 percent of his threes in his two years with the Cyclones, there were questions if that will carry over in the big leagues against elite defenses. Safe to say the Kings rookie is proving his doubters wrong, making 45.7 percent of his threes in his first 15 games in SacTown, while averaging 11.1 points and 5.0 dimes per night.