October 31, 2014

Washington Wizards Game 67 Recap: Thomas, Kings roll past Wizards in OT

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.

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 43: Isaiah Thomas, Kings prove too much for Washington to handle

Turnovers and defensive blunders cost the Washington Wizards (11-32) big Monday night at the Verizon Center as the Sacramento Kings (17-29) ended the team’s quest for six straight wins at home with a 96-94  loss determined in the game’s final seconds.

Emeka Okafor tallied a season-high 23 points and added 15 rebounds for his tenth double-double, while John Wall, Martell Webster and Kevin Seraphin each posted double-digit points.

But, there was just no slowing Isaiah Thomas – even when it looked like the Wizards had a shot at turning out on top in the final seconds of the game, as they have in recent contests.

The fourth quarter started off as one of the Wizards’ ugliest stretches this season. Nearly eight minutes into the fourth, the Wizards had managed to score just five points – and a handful of their passes for open shots were downright atrocious. Washington’s defense looked sluggish and worse yet, it seemed at times that nearly every player in Wizards uniform who touched the ball turned it over. In fact, the Wizards committed 12 of their 20 turnovers in the second half alone. [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game 43 Postgame Audio: Wittman, Wall, Webster & More after loss to Kings

WASHINGTON–The Washington Wizards fell just short of their sixth home win in a row as they lost 96-94 to the Sacramento Kings on a last second floater by the 5’9″ Isaiah Thomas.

“We didn’t have anybody that could guard him,”  Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman said about Thomas.  “I couldn’t find anyone that could guard him tonight. That was disappointing, especially as the game went on. He got anywhere he wanted to. Right, left, and the kid made the play at the end.”

Thomas ended up with 22 points and on the final play, with only 13 seconds remaining in the game, Wittman put in Garrett Temple to guard Thomas.  It was the first action Temple had seen all game.

“It was tough for him to put him in that situation,”  Wizards guard John Wall said on Temple being put on Thomas at the end.  “Especially just not playing the whole game and getting right in.” [Read more...]

Washington Wizards Game Wrap 36: Road Woes Continue as Wizards Fall to Kings, 95-94

The Washington Wizards (7-29) may have appeared an unstoppable force earlier this week in the Nation’s Capital, but the Sacramento Kings (15-24) were not fooled as they held on to beat the NBA’s last-place team by the score of 95-94 at Sleep Train Arena.

Every good streak – even those that span just three games – must come to an end. And, while John Wall has undoubtedly provided the Wizards with a potent weapon they had previously lacked all season, the Wizards were reminded that his mere presence on the court cannot change their course overnight.

Wednesday night’s matchup had the look and feel of so many contests from earlier this season. The game itself clipped along at a steady pace – thanks, in part, to a lack of defensive effort put forth by either team. It was not Wall, but rather, Bradley Beal who led the squad with 26 points, 18 of which were made from three-point territory. He also posted six assists and three rebounds on the night.

Other characters, however, returned to old form – including Jan Vesely, who emerged an unlikely hero Monday night against the Magic only to fall hard on old habits as he failed to score a single point in 10 minutes of play in Sacramento.

When all was said and done, it became clear that the most difficult habit the Wizards have yet to break this season is their inability to win on the road. With the loss, Washington has fallen to 1-16 in away games this season.

The Wizards and Kings were neck-and-neck throughout the first quarter. With under three minutes remaining in the quarter, Kevin Seraphin sank three jumpers in a row for Washington – but the Kings answered each time. By the end of the quarter, Sacramento had a less-than-commanding 32-31 lead.

In the second quarter, however, the Wizards outscored the Kings 25-16, as defense began to play a more prominent role in shaping the game.

With the Wizards trailing 44-43 with just under five minutes remaining in the half, Beal revealed how solid his stroke can be by effortlessly sinking a 25-foot three-pointer.

Just over a minute later, he sank another three to put the Wizards out in front 49-44.

He added another one with little more than a minute remaining in the quarter to help the Wizards to a 56-48 lead at the half.

A.J. Price opened up the second half with a jumper to give the Wizards a double-digit lead yet again. Then, Jimmer Fredette made the first of his five baskets for a total of 12 points on the night.

DeMarcus Cousins – who closed out the night with a double-double for 21 points and 16 rebounds – sank both of his free throws before Chuck Hayes made a layup to trim the Wizards’ lead to just 77-72.

The Beal-Wall duo, which has produced some highlight-worthy plays over the past few days, expanded the Wizards’ lead to 80-72 before Fredette and Cousins had something to say about it.

With 8:03 remaining, the Wizards led by a measly two points before Beal sank two free throws to provide some insurance.

However, Cousins and John Salmons went back-to-back to tie the game at 84 points apiece, before Seraphin dropped the hammer with just over five minutes left to play.

Later, Nene stepped in with a jumper and a three-point play to give the Wizards a 91-86 lead. But, that was not enough to hold off Cousins, who answered with the same two plays to even the score.

Martell Webster then sunk a three – which Salmons repeated for the Kings – and, with 30 seconds remaining, Wall missed two must-have go-ahead free throws.

With 11 seconds left, Tyreke Evans drew a foul off Nene and made sure not to repeat the error of Wall’s ways. His free throw was enough to clinch the 95-94 win for the Kings, despite the fact that both Beal and Wall had quick opportunities to put the Wizards on top from less than 10 feet away.

The Wizards will continue their search for their second road victory this season in Denver on Friday at 9:00 pm ET.

Wizards start strong, stumble in second half against the Kings, 115-107

The Sacramento Kings have a lot in common with the Washington Wizards: dollops of young talent but equal parts inconsistency. Both were on display Wednesday night as the Wizards again squandered a big first half lead before falling to a road-weary Kings team 115-107.

The Kings were in the last of a six-game Eastern swing, and were able to muster just enough defense to pull out their first win of the trip. John Wall’s near triple double (21 points, 11 assists, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks and 5 turnovers) and Jordan Crawford’s hot shooting (32 points on 12-for-19 from the field) weren’t enough, as the Wizards gave up 96 shots (12 above Sacramento’s average, third highest in the league) and 18 offensive rebounds. [Read more...]

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