The Washington Wizards were poised to start their four-game west coast trip with a win, leading by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Marcin Gortat and Bradley Beal each posted 19 points apiece and Drew Gooden added another 18 to lead the six Wizards who reached double-digit points Tuesday night.
But, the Sacramento Kings – led by Isaiah Thomas – simply outplayed the now 35-32 squad as Washington fell 117-111 at Sleep Train Arena. Thomas was well on his way to recording his first career triple double with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists when the Wizards seemingly ran out of gas.
DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay helped lead Sacramento’s late push. Cousins tallied 12 of his 24 points and Gay added 10 of his own 24 in the fourth quarter to bring the Wizards within sight. In fact, it was Gay’s running hook shot with 5.6 seconds remaining in regulation that sent the two teams into overtime.
In the extra period, Trevor Ariza and John Wall kept things close to start before Bradley Beals’ 24-footer put Washington up 109-107 with 1:40 remaining.
But, once again, Cousins and Gay outran the Wizards, combining for six points in less than a minute. Gortat added a layup to the Wizards’ efforts but it proved too little too late as Thomas’s four late free throws kept Sacramento on top through the remainder of the extra period.
The loss is a bit of an embarrassing one for Washington – not simply because the team appeared to let up long before the contest was over, but also because it brought the Wizards down to sixth in the East, just one percentage point behind the Brooklyn Nets (34-31).
Things will only get tougher as Washington will face the Portland Trail Blazers (44-24) Thursday night before taking on the sub-.500 Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets.