D’Angelo Russell, Kenny Atkinson believe comeback win vs. Kings was the spark needed to finish out strong
The Brooklyn Nets survived, endured, and walked away with their best win of the season against the Sacramento Kings earlier this week, a game that did more than just add another W in their column, but likely changed the levels of confidence this team had going into a heavily-contested bottom of the playoff picture. Head coach Kenny Atkinson and D’Angelo Russell, whose 44 points aided the Nets to rally from a 28-point deficit, know the impact this iconic win had on the franchise.
“It would’ve been a huge blow if we came back and ended up losing [Tuesday], used all that energy and all that spirit and take an L,” said Atkinson, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. “The fact we did get the win and the way we got the win even boosts our togetherness and spirit.”
Russell, who scored 27 of his 44 in the fourth quarter to lead the charge, agreed with how symbolic a comeback of such nature can be for all those involved.
“It picks up your energy around the team, around the organization,” said Russell. “You could easily lose that one; then say we lose [Friday], and snowball effect just like that. The season’s too valuable now to have any lapses like that; so us winning that one was a big one. Just go get the next one and the next one.”
Not only did the win against the Kings put the Nets a game over .500, but also gave the team a chance to get one last nitrous injection for the last leg of the playoff race, as they only have nine games left in the season and boast the hardest strength of schedule in the entire league.