The Sacramento Kings once again made their fans nervous, although they defeated Washington Wizards, 133-126. After leading 27 points at the halftime, they allowed the guests to come back and tie the result early in the fourth period.
Everything was going fine for Luke Walton’s guys, who were pretty much harassing the Wizards. The hosts outscored the opponents with 39-23 in the first period, and after that continued in the same manner, dropping 37 points in the second sequence, and allowing just 26.
“The first half was probably one of the best halves we have played this year,” said Igor Kokoskov, the assistant coach.
And then came something unreal. The Wizards outscored the Kings 46-19 in the third period. It was arguably one of the best quarters for any team since the start of the campaign. Going into the fourth, the game was tied at 95-95, but with a massive swing on the guests’ side. On the other hand, the home team lost its coach Luke Walton after one nasty outburst he had with the officials.
“Luke Walton cares about this team, cares about winning obviously. (He) was trying to help the team,” said Kokoskov, who was explaining that Walton wanted to wake up his guys and put some pressure on the officials.
However, the hosts managed to pull themselves together in the final period, mostly because of the three-point shooting. The Kings made five threes, but posting them in just 8 attempts, and all of those hits came in very delicate moments.
Bogdan Bogdanovic hit a couple of them when the game was on the line, Cory Joseph, Nemanja Bjelica and De’Aaron Fox added one each, to stop the surging Wizards.
The guests from the capital had superb Bradley Beal, who demonstrated why many believe he is the top shooting guard in the NBA. Beal dropped 35 points and became just the fourth player since the merger of the league, who averages 40 points per night in 8 straight road trips. Three before him were James Harden Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. He also had 8 assists.
Apart from Beal, Rui Hachimura, the rookie, added 20 points with 6 boards. Davis Bertans, the sharpshooting forward, made six threes in twelve attempts, for a total of 18 buckets.
Fox scored 31 for the Kings, 12-for-19 from the field. Bogdanovic added 21 mostly in the last 12 minutes, and Buddy Hield had 17 with 5 boards. Cory Joseph scored 14 off the bench.
“When he went out, obviously Igor took over, but you really want to win that game with everything going on,” stated Fox, backing up Kokoskov’s statement about Walton’s intention to snap out his team.
Sacramento (27-34) has a clash with the Philadelphia 76ers who lost in LA tonight, in two days, and after that heads for Portland to meet the Trail Blazers on the second of back-to-back nights. Following this clash, the Kings have four straight games at home. They are starting the series with the Raptors, then await the Pelicans, the Nets and the Mavericks.
Walton’s side is three games behind the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference standings, and the next few games will present the last chance for them to catch the train to the postseason. Wins at home are a must for them now.
The Wizards (22-38) have one more game on the road before jumping back to DC, and that is Portland already tomorrow night. After that, Scott Brooks’ guys play three in a row at home, and the opponents are Hawks, Heat and the Knicks.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.