Thanks to an impressive fourth-quarter surge, the Kings defeated the Washington Wizards 119-105 on Wednesday night.
Up until late in the third quarter, it had felt like another ho-hum performance from the Kings where the other team scores at will, and the Kings eventually lose by a sizeable margin. But late in the third quarter, a switch was flipped.
After a Davis Bertans three-pointer gave the Wizards an 89-77 lead in the final minutes of the third quarter, the Kings outscored Washington the rest of the game, 42-16. The screws got tightened all the way up defensively, and there was tangible energy and momentum the Kings just held for the rest of the game,
In his first game filling in for Alvin Gentry, who is currently out due to COVID-19 protocols, Doug Christie got the first win of his coaching career. It’s clear that all the players like and respect Christie, so it was great to see them rally late to win this game.
For the first time this season, the Kings started De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Davion Mitchell and it worked well.
Fox put together one of his better performances of the season scoring ten points on an efficient ten of 16 shooting. It was the type of game we have seen from him a few times this season where he just continually put his head down and got to the rim at will to either finish or get fouled.
Haliburton was great as well, although his shot wasn’t really falling for much of the game. He stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with eight rebounds, nine assists, three steals, and three blocks.
The new addition to the starting lineup, Mitchell continued his stellar play of late finishing with 13 points and playing his typical staunch defense.
On Wednesday, the Kings were without Terence Davis and Marvin Bagley III due to COVID-19 protocols as well as Richaun Holmes, who is still out with an eye injury. In their absence, Christie played all ten players the Kings had active for the game. Going this deep into the rotation is not something we’ve seen too often from the Sacramento coaching staff.
The Kings will stay at home for their next contest as they host the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.