Sacramento 117, Washington 111 (OT), Game 67 of 82 (Wizards 35-32)

  • Ralph Thompson Jr


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It wasn’t just the 10 free throws missed, although making at least some of them would have helped. It wasn’t just the 44 points surrendered in the paint nor the 23 second-chance points given up, although lessening either would have helped as well.

Kings’ point guard Isaiah Thomas achieved a triple double (24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) leading Sacramento (24-44) to a come-from-behind overtime win over the visiting Washington Wizards. The Kings had lost five of their last six coming into this game.

Washington shot 44% from the field, and tallied 41 rebounds (11 offensive), 28 assists on 40 baskets, 11 steals, 15 turnovers and 2 blocked shots. Marcin Gortat and Bradley Beal led six Wizards in double figures with 19 points each. Gortat added 14 rebounds. Drew Gooden continued his stellar play off the bench with 18 points and 6 rebounds in 28 minutes.

Sacramento shot 46% from the floor. The Kings collected 57 rebounds (16 offensive), 18 assists on 40 baskets, 8 steals, 20 turnovers and 2 blocked shots. Sacramento had three players score 24 points (Thomas, Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins) and three guys with 10-plus rebounds (Thomas, Cousins with 14 and Reggie Evans with 10).

Sacramento led 30-19 at the end of the first quarter. Washington shot 7-of-21 for the quarter and had 6 turnovers as the Kings took an early 11-point lead (20-9, 3:08 remaining). Thomas’ nine points and four assists got Sacramento going from the outset. Kings’ rookie guard Ben McLemore added another nine points in the quarter. Trevor Booker scored six in the quarter to pace the Wizards.

Washington’s shooting woes continued in the second quarter (39% from the field at the half). Good for the Wizards that their defense cooled off the Kings a bit in the second period. As Sacramento started to miss shots, Washington slowly closed the gap. A 16-4 Washington run in the last 5:33 of the half cut the deficit to 47-46 at halftime. Wall had eight in that run, totaling 10 points and 5 assists at the half. Thomas’ 13 points and McLemore’s 11 paced Sacramento.

The Wizards opened the third quarter on a 9-0 run, with Gortat scoring four early points. Evans answered with four points of his own to shake Sacramento out their

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drought. The Kings’ Jason Thompson added eight in the period, as the game got closer. Martell Webster scored 6 in the last minute of the period, to help Washington post a 73-70 lead at the end of the third period.

The Wizards also started the fourth quarter strong, with an opening 8-0 run. Gooden’s layup with 8:56 left in regulation put Washington up 81-70. Then, the Kings went to work. Cousins scored 10 points in a four-minute stretch, keeping the Kings within 92-84, 4:10 remaining. After that, Gay scored eight in 2-and-a-half minutes to close the gap to 96-93 with eighty-nine seconds left. Thomas’ three-pointer with 18 seconds left made the score Washington 100, Sacramento 98. Wall was fouled immediately after Thomas’ make, but Wall missed both ensuing free throws. That gave the Kings hope, and Gay cashed it in with a running hook shot with 5.6 seconds left in regulation to tie the game.

Overtime came, and Sacramento outscored Washington 17-11 in the five-minute period. Cousins scored seven, Gay scored six and Thomas’ four free throws at the end clinched the win for the home team. Washington had trouble in the same stretch, with a pair of turnovers, Wall fouling out and Beal going one-of-four in overtime.

Washington now flies north to face Portland (Thursday, 20 March), before heading back south to face the Los Angeles Lakers (Friday, 21 March) and then east for a match-up with Denver (Sunday, 23 March). The Wizards have to forget about this tough loss and bounce back against a good Trailblazers team. Signing Gooden makes Washington a stronger team; now, they have to play like a stronger team.




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