#4. 12/9/19 – Nemanja Bjelica @ Houston
This buzzer-beater is the one that is most fresh in our minds, and could very well end up being the signature moment for the 2019-’20 Kings. In a season that was an overall regression and disappointment, the last-second heave by Nemanja Bjelica and his postgame interview gave us something to be excited about.
The Kings were playing on the second night of a back to back against one of the most talented teams in the league. They were in Houston to take on the Rockets after an unlikely victory the night before in Dallas, and trying to climb out of the early-season hole that they had dug for themselves.
The game ended up being one of the more entertaining ones of the season, and not just because of the final play. The game was hotly contested throughout, and no second-half lead was greater than six points. Russell Westbrook scored 34 points and James Harden added 27, while PJ Tucker pulled down a whopping 19 rebounds. But it was Bjelica who stole the show.
The Kings had tied the game with 8 seconds left on a Buddy Hield three-pointer, but inexplicably let Westbrook dash coast to coast for the layup that gave the Rockets a 2 point advantage with a single second remaining. Westbrook walked back to the bench saying “It’s over!”
Cory Joseph inbounded the ball to Bjelica who had gotten free when his defender sagged on a cutting Harrison Barnes. Bjelica made a clean catch, turned, and fired from 32 feet away from the basket. Bottoms. The Sacramento bench mobbed their hero and the Kings flew home happy.