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Kings 133, Wizards 126: Complete disaster avoided

A 27-point lead Sacramento lead was wiped away in the third quarter by Washington, but the Kings survive.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Sacramento Kings Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings are in no position to lose to teams with worse records than them. They came out with their best half of the season, the complete opposite as they opened against Detroit. A 76-49 halftime lead was eradicated in just one quarter by the Wizards who caught fire from three and Sacramento had no answer. The Kings, led by De’Aaron Fox, controlled the fourth quarter getting turnovers and converting free throws en route to their 27th win.

Quarterly Recaps

Injury notes: Cory Joseph is AVAILABLE. Marvin Bagley and Richaun Holmes still OUT.

The Kings jumped off to an 8-0 start with defense leading to offense. Bogdan Bogdanovic knocked down two triples right away followed by a steal where Harry Giles brought out the behind-the-back pass to Nemanja Bjelica for a dunk in transition. Perfect start compared to Detroit. The Wizards were literally carried by Bradley Beal who put up 10 points in seven minutes before being subbed. Alex Len continued to make big plays off the bench with dunks, blocks and hard screens. It helped that the Kings shot 5-9 from deep as well as they led 39-23 after one. De'Aaron Fox's seven points led Sacramento.

Len started off with a few baskets to open up the second, but Washington's dribble penetration created open looks from three and at the rim. Ish Smith's penetration was the main culprit and the Wizards cut the lead to 45-33. Buddy Hield chose a good time to catch fire as he started making threes and mid-range jumpers as well as having some good defensive possessions against Beal. A Hield three elevated the Kings lead to 57-35, their largest of the game. Hield shortly after converted a four point play and then a deep Bogi two made it 65-37. It was raining jumpers in Sacramento. Hield ran down the length of the floor for a reverse layup near the buzzer to cap off a 17 point half. The Kings led 76-49 after the first half, an absurd performance.

Washington got off to a 12-6 start with Beal leading the way. Fox kept bullying Shabazz Napier on offense but the defensive intensity wasn’t there for the Kings. Make that a 20-6 start, very reminiscent of the Detroit first quarter. No ball movement on offense plus Washington heating up from three is not a good recipe for success. The Wizards cut it to seven and Luke Walton was ejected after screaming at the officials on a no-call on Cory Joseph. The Wizards came back down 27 in one quarter and tied it at 95 all. They outscored Sacramento 46-19 and it’s not shocking in the least bit. Fox led the Kings with 23 points and Beal led Washington with 24.

The fourth quarter could’ve gone multiple ways but fortunately for the Kings, they had Fox. Joseph made some big shots down the stretch and the defense continued to force multiple turnovers for extra possessions. Every now and then, the Wizards made a run to make it interesting again and did just that in the last minute with their threes knocking down again, but the Kings made their free throws to close it out. Phew.

Notable Players

De’Aaron Fox assembled one of his best games of the season and the Kings definitely needed it. He couldn’t be stopped on offense, going for 31 points on 12-19 shooting and hitting 5-6 from the line. He added three rebounds, one assist and three steals.

Bogdan Bogdanovic came alive and it was also much needed. He scored 21 points and hit 4-10 from three to go with four assists, two steals, one block and one rebound in 30 minutes.

Buddy Hield scored 17 points in the first half and hit 4-8 from deep, but didn’t score again in the second half. Hield also grabbed five rebounds to go with four assists.

Cory Joseph went 6-8 overall for 14 big points with four rebounds, four assists and a steal in 27 minutes.

Alex Len only played 14 minutes but made his impact felt, going 6-8 for 12 points, six rebounds and one block.

Notable Stats

The Kings shot 50-89 overall (56.2%) and 13-29 (44.8%) from three. They went 20-24 (83.3%) from the charity stripe. That’s winning basketball.

Sacramento out-rebounded the Wizards 42-31, but had less assists at 28-23.

The Kings scored 66 points in the paint as well as 18 fast break points. Good stuff.

Next Game

The Kings host the Philadelphia 76ers this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. PST. The 76ers are coming off a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers and have a putrid road record of 9-22. Huge game again!