Russell Westbrook

Watch Russell Westbrook say 'game over' just before Kings' game-winner

Watch Russell Westbrook say 'game over' just before Kings' game-winner

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

That message might need to be relayed to Rockets guard Russell Westbrook, as he assumed he had just won his team the game after driving and finishing over Kings center Richaun Holmes with only one second remaining Monday night in Houston.

Buddy Hield had just hit a miraculous 3-pointer on the previous possession to tie the score, and Westbrook assumed there was nothing the Kings could do to win the game in one second after his layup.

Suffice it to say, the former NBA MVP was incorrect.

Nemanja Bjelica sent the Kings home with another road win, and stunned the Rockets with this DEEP buzzer-beater.

[RELATED: What we learned as Bjelica, Kings stun Westbrook, Rockets]

So much for Clutch City.

Watch Nemanja Bjelica's buzzer-beater in Kings' wild win over Rockets

Watch Nemanja Bjelica's buzzer-beater in Kings' wild win over Rockets

For the second night in a row, Nemanja Bjelica provided some late-game theatrics for the Kings.

After dropping 30 points in a win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night, Bjelica came back 24 hours later and sent the Kings home with a buzzer-beater from WAY downtown in Houston.

After Buddy Hield tied the game at 116 with less than 10 seconds to go, Russell Westbrook came right back and muscled his way to the hoop for a layup, giving Houston back a two-point lead with precisely one second remaining.

However, the Serbian forward had other ideas.

The Kings will try and keep the train rolling as they return home to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center.

Kings takeaways: What we learned in thrilling 119-118 win over Rockets

Kings takeaways: What we learned in thrilling 119-118 win over Rockets


When you play the Houston Rockets, you have no choice but to get creative. Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton threw the kitchen sink at the league’s second-highest scoring offense and it all came down to one shot. 

Russell Westbrook, who was a handful the entire night, took it coast-to-coast to put Houston up by two with one second remaining. 

Without enough time to even take a dribble, Cory Joseph inbounded the ball to Nemanja Bjelica, who was all alone on the left elbow. The Serbian sniper drilled a 33-footer as time expired to give Sacramento an improbable 119-118 win.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings hung around in Houston and shocked the Rockets to move to 10-13 on the season.  

The winner

For the second night in a row, Bjelica came through for Sacramento. Walton ran his offense through the 31-year-old forward for much of the night, but it’s unlikely the final play was called for him.

Once he got the ball, he calmly set up and sent a laser screaming at the hoop. It looked good from the moment it left his hand and after a quick review, the shot was deemed good.

Bjelica finished the night with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. He’s earned a spot in the rotation when Marvin Bagley comes back later this week. 

Make it rain

Sacramento and Houston have had plenty of 3-point shootouts and Monday night’s game was no exception. 

Led by Buddy Hield’s six makes from downtown, the Kings made 20 of 45 attempts from behind the 3-point line. Six players hit multiple 3-balls, including a 3-for-5 performance from Joseph. None was bigger than Bjelica’s game-winning hoist.

Houston leads the league in 3-point attempts (46.1) and 3-point makes (15.7) on the season. Against the Kings, the Rockets managed to hit 17 of their 50 attempts from deep.  

[RELATED: L2M: Kings benefited from late missed call in win over Mavs]

Keep him off the line

The Kings have struggled to play defense without fouling much of the season, but in back-to-back games, they seemed to figure a few things out.

After yielding just five free-throw attempts to Luka Doncic on Sunday -- well off his 9.7 attempts per game on the season -- Sacramento did the same thing to James Harden.

Harden, who averages 12.8 makes from the line on 14.8 attempts this season, hit the Kings for just eight attempts on the evening. The Kings stayed close to Harden, but moved their feet and avoided reaching in. 

The 6-foot-5 shooting guard still managed to post 27 points, but that is well below his league-leading average of 38.5 points per game. Without a bunch of extra points at the line, Harden looked mortal, at least for one night.