SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson tried nearly all the things to kick the Nets into gear: There have been fast timeouts; indignant, animated discussions along with his gamers; and even switching from man to zone protection.
When nothing else labored, D’Angelo Russell and a handful of Brooklyn reserves took over and carried the Nets to an inconceivable win on their longest highway journey of the season.
Russell scored 27 of his career-high 44 factors within the fourth quarter, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson made a layup with eight-tenths of a second remaining and the Nets rallied from 28 factors down within the second half to beat the Sacramento Kings 123-121 on Tuesday evening and snap a four-game shedding streak.
The Nets, who trailed by 25 after three quarters, grew to become simply the fourth crew within the shot-clock period (since 1954-55) to beat a 25-point fourth-quarter deficit, based on ESPN Stats & Data analysis. Groups trailing by 25 or extra factors coming into the fourth quarter have been Three-Three,Zero28 within the shot-clock period coming into Tuesday.
“We have been at our wit’s finish; it was type of desperation,” Atkinson mentioned. “It was just a little bit like, ‘Let’s preserve our major guys and type of play it out.’ I wasn’t anticipating an incredible comeback, I simply should be sincere. After which slowly however absolutely we began slicing the lead.”
Brooklyn was sluggish and out of sync for 3 quarters earlier than Russell sparked the Nets’ largest comeback of the season.
After scoring 17 factors within the first half and going with out a level within the third quarter, Russell shot 10-of-15 within the fourth quarter, repeatedly burning Sacramento’s protection with fast drives to the basket. He scored 16 straight factors throughout one stretch, whereas getting loads of assist from his teammates.
“I give a number of credit score to our bigs,” Russell mentioned. “They set screens and bought me open, bought me downhill. When you get downhill, any participant that may get downhill and see the ground like that and see the rim broad open, the sky is the restrict.”
Russell’s 27 factors are probably the most in a fourth quarter within the NBA this season. He additionally had 4 Three-pointers within the fourth quarter, breaking Allen Crabbe’s single-season franchise report of 201 Three-pointers, set final season. Russell has 202.
“When you get in that groove, it is laborious to get you out of it,” Russell mentioned. “It doesn’t matter what protection a crew throws at you, you are going to discover a technique to get it executed. That is type of what it was.”
Hollis-Jefferson had 14 factors off the bench, none extra essential than his game-winning layup after Sacramento’s Marvin Bagley III stepped out of bounds with 5.5 seconds left.
Hollis-Jefferson took the inbound go from Joe Harris and appeared for Russell, who was being double-teamed. With the clock winding down, Hollis-Jefferson drove from close to the Three-point arc and went round a Kings defender close to the ring to attain.
Jarrett Allen added 13 factors and 7 rebounds for Brooklyn. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 10 factors.
Earlier than Tuesday’s win, the Nets had been Zero-178 over the previous 20 seasons when trailing by at the very least 25 factors at any level in a recreation, based on ESPN Stats & Data information.
It was a much-needed increase for Brooklyn, which had misplaced the primary three video games of a seven-game journey. The Nets additionally have been struggling to carry onto seventh place within the Japanese Convention earlier than Russell led the comeback.
De’Aaron Fox scored 27 factors for Sacramento. Bagley had 29 factors on 12-of-15 taking pictures for the Kings (35-35). And Nemanja Bjelica added 14 factors and 10 rebounds, whereas Harrison Barnes scored 17.
Two days after beating the woeful Chicago Bulls 129-102, Sacramento was properly on its technique to a lopsided win over a contending crew within the East, earlier than issues slipped away.
“We relaxed and have been very informal,” Kings coach Dave Joerger mentioned. “Did not run again on protection, turned the ball over a ton and took a number of soar photographs as a result of we thought it was going to be straightforward.”
The Kings led by 28 factors and shot 51.6 p.c from the ground.
Nets: Jarrett Allen picked up a technical foul within the first quarter. Allan Crabbe missed his third consecutive recreation with a sore proper knee.
Kings: Buddy Hield went Zero-of-Eight past the arc, and he stays 9 3s shy of the franchise single-season report of 240, set by present Sacramento assistant common supervisor Peja Stojakovic in 2003-04.
Atkinson was so annoyed with the Nets that he known as a timeout 20 seconds into the second quarter, moments after Bogdan Bogdanovic made a Three-pointer that put the Kings forward 41-25. Atkinson was fairly animated through the break as he spoke to his gamers, earlier than getting up and strolling away. It labored briefly — till the Kings scored 20 straight to open the third quarter.
“The teaching was horrible,” Atkinson mentioned. “The zone was horrible. I used up my timeouts. They by no means responded. We put a gaggle of gamers on the market which have an awesome bond and an awesome spirit and have been working their tails off behind closed doorways. It was 100 p.c on them. That is participant possession.”
Nets: Play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Friday.
Kings: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.
The Related Press contributed to this report.