SACRAMENTO, Calif. — 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.
The Nets, who trailed by 25 after three quarters, became just the fourth team in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55) to overcome a 25-point fourth-quarter deficit, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Teams trailing by 25 or more points entering the fourth quarter were 3-3,028 in the shot-clock era entering Tuesday.
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 3s 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.
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.
Before Tuesday’s win, the Nets had been 0-178 over the past 20 seasons when trailing by at least 25 points at any point in a game, according to ESPN Stats & Information data.
It was a much-needed boost for Brooklyn, which had lost the first three games of a seven-game trip. The Nets also were struggling to hold onto seventh place in the Eastern Conference before Russell led the comeback.
Two days after beating the woeful Chicago Bulls 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.
Dismayed 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.
Nets: Jarrett Allen picked up a technical foul in the first quarter. Allen Crabbe missed his third consecutive game with a sore right knee.
Nets: Play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Friday.
Kings: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.