Sports

D'Angelo Russell Leads Nets' Incredible Comeback Vs Kings, Twitter Trolls the Lakers as a Result

D'Angelo Russell set a new career-high in points as he inspired the Brooklyn Nets to the most improbable of comebacks on the road against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

Trailing by 25 points going into the final period, the Nets rallied to win 123-121 and become only the fourth team since 1954-55 to overcome a 25-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

Up until Tuesday, teams that faced a 25-point gap after three quarters had a combined 3-3,208 record, according to ESPN Stats & Information data.

If the comeback was memorable, Russell’s fourth quarter performance won’t be forgotten in a hurry either. The Nets point guard scored a career-best 44 points, shooting 17-of-33 from the field and six-of-15 from behind the arc.

Of those 44 points, 27 came in the fourth quarter alone as Russell recovered from a scoreless third quarter. The 23-year-old shot 10-of-15 in the final period and scored 16 straight points at one stage.

"Once you get in that groove, it's hard to get you out of it," Russell told the Associated Press. "No matter what defense a team throws at you, you're going to find a way to get it done. That's kind of what it was."

No other player in the NBA has scored as many points in a single fourth quarter in the current campaign and Russell’s exploits were widely praised on social media, where the comeback was hailed as one of the moments of the season.

Viewers were also quick to use Russell's performance as a stick to beat the Los Angeles Lakers with. The 16-time NBA champions selected Russell as the number two overall pick in the 2015 draft, but traded him to the Nets in June 2017.

The way the Nets rallied in the final period was even more remarkable considering most of their starters were sat on the bench.

Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson admitted he’d almost written the game off as a loss, until Russell clicked into gear.

"We were at our wits' end; it was kind of desperation," he was quoted as saying by ESPN. "It was a little bit like, 'Let's conserve our main guys and kind of play it out.' I wasn't expecting an amazing comeback, I just have to be honest. And then slowly but surely we started cutting the lead."

Aside from being memorable, the win helped the Nets break a four-game losing streak and improve to 37-36 for the season, extending their gap to the eight-placed Miami Heat to 1.5 games.

More importantly, Brooklyn now holds a three-game advantage over the Orlando Magic, who would be the first team to miss out on the playoffs if the regular season ended today. While the Magic have 11 games to the Nets’ nine, it is difficult to see Brooklyn miss out on a postseason berth.

The Kings, meanwhile, slipped to 34-36 for the loss and remain ninth in the Western Conference, a whopping seven games behind the eight-seeded Los Angeles Clippers.

D'Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell, #1 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts during their game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center on March 19 in Sacramento, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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