Bjelica Comes Up Big on Back-to-Back Nights

The Serbian big man was crucial in capping off Sacramento’s road trip on a high note.
by Kyle Ramos
Social Coordinator

“To go home home happy...”

Grant Napear spoke these words just before Nemanja Bjelica launched a shot that would in fact fulfill the Kings play-by-play broadcaster’s premonition.

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Protest that.

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Just one night after a nail-biting finish in Dallas, Sacramento was tasked with taking on a Houston Rockets squad in the final game of a four-game road swing.

Despite the potential weariness, the Kings brought their A-game in H-Town and the whole squad stepped up in crunch time.

The final 90 seconds of the game were a roller coster ride of emotions, to say the least.

With Sactown trailing by three and 1:22 to play, Harrison Barnes knotted the game at 113 apiece with an off-balance triple just before the shot clock expired.

Houston responded with a three of their own to snatch the lead back and 22.7 seconds left.

Buddy Hield’s attempt to tie it up once more rimmed out, but Bogdan Bogdanovic pulled down the board and gave No. 24 another chance. You could probably guess what happened next.

The Rockets once again took the lead back on a Russell Westbrook driving layup and just one second showing on the game clock. But that proved to be too much time for Professor Big Shots.

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If you don’t like that...

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This marked Sacramento's first win in Houston since New Year's Eve in 2013, snapping a 10-game skid.

“Great win for us. What can I say. I took a crazy shot - the ball went in,” Bjelica said after the victory. No. 88 also summed it up in very quotable fashion to finish off his post-game interview.

Nemanja would end the night with 16 points following up a career-high-tying 30-point performance the night before.

“The first four years I was just to stand in the corner in the NBA,” Bjelica said to Jason Jones of The Athletic. “And now I have a big opportunity, so it’s not a bad feeling.”

Hield led the squad with 26 points to go with three assists and four rebounds.

“That’s a great shot for [Nemanja]. You see the team, when he made the shot, you see how everybody loves him because Belly’s one of the guys always cracking jokes, having fun with the team,” Buddy also told The Athletic.

“He’s one of the best teammates on the team so everybody’s happy for his success. Obviously we love him and it shows how much we enjoy each other’s success.”

After taking the final two games of the trip, the Kings have a chance to keep the momentum going back at home on Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder to tip off a two-game home stint.

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