The Wizards closed out a four-game homestand with an 110-92 win over the Kings on Monday night. Six Wizards scored in double figures and Washington held the Kings to 40.5% shooting on the night.
Sacramento started the game hot, taking the first quarter 32-25. George Hill led the Kings with 13 points in the opening quarter, while John Wall had 10 points. The rest of the Wizards’ starters struggled from the field and could not contain the Kings’ hot start. That would soon change.
Washington opened up the second quarter with an all second unit lineup of Tim Frazier, Jodie Meeks, Kelly Oubre Jr., Mike Scott, and Ian Mahinmi. That group would go on a 15-2 run to begin the second quarter, sparking a double-digit comeback victory for the Wizards. Scott Brooks’ team held the Kings to only two points in Sacramento’s first nine possessions of the second quarter, while the Wizards were creating second chance opportunities and out-hustling the Kings. Sacramento was held to 8-of-21 (38.1%) shooting and turned it over five times for eight Wizards points in the quarter. Scott in particular dominated in the first half, scoring 10 of his season-high 15 points in the opening 24 minutes. The Wizards would take a 57-51 lead into the half, winning the second quarter 32-19.
“We have just been communicating,” Scott said of the bench’s success in the last two games. “I’ve been telling Tim (Frazier) as our defense gets stretched off the bench, just keep talking to us, keep us motivated. It’s been working. A team will go on a little run but we will just go right back at them. It’s been working.”
The second half was more of the same, with the Wizards controlling both ends of the floor. Washington came out with an 8-0 run to open the half, and made their first five shots. The Wizards built a 22-point lead at one point in the third quarter, and held the Kings to 0-for-10 in the paint in the period. Marcin Gortat had 11 of his 18 points in the third, as the Wizards out-shot the Kings 60.0% to 31.6%. In the fourth, the Wizards’ second unit played the majority of the quarter, holding on to the 18-point win. Some of the starters came back in with 5:55 to go to close out the game, with Wall and Bradley Beal, who had a season-high seven assists to go along with 14 points and seven rebounds, finishing off Sacramento.
The Wizards dominated the paint once again on Monday night, holding the Kings to only 32 points in the paint on 16-of-39 (41.0%) shooting. Offensively, the Wizards scored 46 points in the paint and made 23-of-32 buckets in the paint. Washington won the rebounding battle 50-34, though both teams scored 17 second chance points. Marcin Gortat was the difference for the Wizards, tying a season-high with 18 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 30-plus minutes. The Kings’ starting front court of Zach Randolph and Willie Cauley-Stein were only a combined 7-of-24 (29.2%) from the field.
“He was really good. He was roll into the spots,” Brooks said of Gortat’s performance. “They’re going to put in a lot of times. Teams are doing, putting two guys on our ball-handlers John and Brad, and even when Tim [Frazier] comes in, so you have to be able to set the screen-and-roll to the proper spots so we can have good spacing. And a lot of times if they’re not going to help, he has a great hands around the basket and finish with either hand. But his defense has been really key for us. He gets up on screen-and-rolls, he stops the basketball, which is not easy with little guards in the league coming at him. But I thought all-around game, might have been his best game of the year.”
John Wall made 8-of-9 field goals as he scored 21 points and dished out nine assists in 27-plus minutes. Wall made all four of his 3-point attempts, making him for 9-for-10 from deep on the season against the Kings. He could get anything he wanted on the floor and had seven of his nine assists in the second half in less than 12 minutes of action. If Wall can shoot from deep like he did on Monday night and against the Kings in Sacramento, opponents will have almost no answer for him defensively.
“Just sticking with my shot even though I haven’t been shooting the ball well this season from three,” Wall said of his shooting tonight. “When I see one or two go in, I’m going to keep shooting and try and take the same shots.”
Washington (8-5) now heads to Miami to take on the Heat in the first of a home-and-home series on Wednesday at 7:30pm.