SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) D'Angelo Russell scored 27 of his career-high 44 points in the fourth quarter, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson made a layup with eight-tenths of a second remaining, and the Brooklyn Nets rallied from 28 points down in the second half to beat the Sacramento Kings 123-121 on Tuesday night and snap a four-game losing streak.
Brooklyn was sluggish and out of sync for three quarters before Russell sparked the Nets' biggest comeback of the season.
After scoring 17 points in the first half and going without a point in the third quarter, Russell shot 10 of 15 in the fourth quarter, repeatedly burning Sacramento's defense with quick drives to the basket. Russell also had four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, breaking Allen Crabbe's single-season record of 201 set last season. Russell has 202.
Hollis-Jefferson had 14 points off the bench, and none more important than his game-winning layup after Sacramento's Marvin Bagley III stepped out of bounds with 5.5 seconds left.
"I'm speechless," head coach Kenny Atkinson said after the game. "The locker room wasn't speechless. That's a jubilant locker room. It's a credit to those guys, how they've been playing, their work ethic, to stick to it ... it's a beautiful story."
Hollis-Jefferson took the inbound pass from Joe Harris and looked for Russell, who was being double-teamed. With the clock winding down, Hollis-Jefferson drove from near the 3-point arc and went around a Kings defender near the hoop to score.
Jarrett Allen added 13 points and seven rebounds for Brooklyn. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 10 points.
It was a much-needed boost for Brooklyn, which had lost the first three games of a seven-game trip. The Nets were also struggling to hold onto seventh place in the East before Russell led the comeback.
De'Aaron Fox scored 27 points for Sacramento. Marvin Bagley had 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting for the Kings (35-35). Nemanja Bjelica added 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Harrison Barnes scored 17.
Two days after beating woeful Chicago 129-102, Sacramento was well on its way to a lopsided win over a contending team in the East before things slipped away.
The Kings led by 28 points and shot 51.6 percent from the floor.
That led to some early frustrations for Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson.
Frustrated and angry, Atkinson called a timeout 20 seconds into the second quarter, moments after Bogdan Bogdanovic made a 3-pointer that put the Kings ahead 41-25. Atkinson was quite animated during the break as he spoke to his players before getting up and walking away.
It worked briefly, until the Kings scored 20 straight points in the first five minutes of the third quarter.
Fox made a short layup and two jumpers as part of the run, then capped it with a 3-pointer that put the Kings up 86-58. >> Read more
Copyright 2019 by the Associated Press
LOU WILL FOR THE WIN pic.twitter.com/8jioW3f9gO- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 18, 2019
❄ C O L D ❄ pic.twitter.com/6aCiRcSj14- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 18, 2019
THE ICE IS FLOWING THROUGH HIS VEINS TONIGHT 💉❄ pic.twitter.com/yxPgykHneh- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 20, 2019
The Nets continue their West Coast trip on Friday when they head to Los Angeles to play the Lakers at 10:30 p.m.