Final Score: Wizards 93 Kings 84
The Western Conference has been marked as much stronger than their Eastern opponents this season. Well, keep them coming.
Tonight's 93-84 victory over the Sacramento Kings leaves the Washington Wizards with a 3-1 record against the West in the past four games, their only loss coming in double overtime against the San Antonio Spurs. The three wins included signature victories over the Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers.
Nene led the Wizards with 18 points, adding four rebounds and five assists. Marcin Gortat posted 17 points along with eight rebounds, and Bradley Beal had 16 points, six rebounds, and five assists, as well as a couple of very timely 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
While the Wizards could not stop Isaiah Thomas, who scored 30 points and dished out eight assists tonight, they did a great job of shutting down the often dominant frontcourt duo of Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings' big men were held to 20 points, while Marcin Gortat and Nene scored 35 points combined.
Sacramento fought their way back into the game in the middle of the fourth quarter, getting as close as 79-75 with 7:45 left in the contest, but a jumper by Nene and consecutive treys by Beal pushed the lead to 11, and the Kings would not get within striking distance again.
The Wizards end the homestand 3-2, bringing their season record to 25-25, the ninth time they have been at .500.
Their next game will be on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, February 11th. Tip-off at the FedEx Forum is set for 8:00 PM. - Jack Persons
Through three quarters, the Wizards lead the Kings, 75-64.
Nene has had a great night from the line so far, going 6-of-7 on free throws for 16 points, adding four rebounds and four assists. Gortat has posted 15 points and seven rebounds.
The Wizards have not been able to stop Isaiah Thomas, who has 26 points and five assists, but Gortat and Nene have continued to defend DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson well, holding them to nine points and six points, respectively.
Washington holds a 34-26 advantage in points inside the paint, and have evened out the rebounding lead the Kings held at halftime. Both teams now have 30 rebounds each.
The 11 point lead heading into the final 12 minutes has not solidified a victory for the Wizards yet, but as long as the Wiz big men continue to hold down the paint, they will be able to secure the victory. - Jack Persons
The Wizards look like a team that is tired of being below .500. They have thoroughly outplayed their opponent in the contest tonight, leading 57-45 at the half.
The Nene-Gortat v. Thompson-Cousins battle is extremely important tonight, and the Wizards' big men have been more dominant. Nene and Gortat have combined for 21 points, while DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson have been held to only 13. Overall, the Wizards lead the Kings 24-18 inside the paint.
Nene has scored 11 points, adding four assists. Marcin Gortat posted 10 points and four rebounds in the first half, and Kevin Seraphin leads the bench with eight points and four rebounds.
Isaiah Thomas has 16 points for the Kings so far, while DeMarcus Cousins adds seven points and seven boards.
The Kings have beaten the Wizards on the boards in the first 24 minutes, and for the Wiz to pull away in the third, they need to crash down low a little harder and grab a few more defensive rebounds. Sacramento leads second chance points 12-5, which have kept them in the game. A solid rebounding effort in the second half and the Wizards should be able to make it back to .500 for the ninth time this season. - Jack Persons
It seems to be a battle of the point guards so far at Verizon Center. Through the first period, the Washington Wizards lead the Sacramento Kings 28-24.
John Wall has started off hot, going 4-of-5 from the floor to lead the team with nine points. Marcin Gortat has eight points to go along with three rebounds.
Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas gave the Wizards fits in the first, scoring 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Though the guards have been playing well, this game will be decided by the big men. The match-ups of Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins against Marcin Gortat and Nene have been extremely physical, and whichever team can take over the game down low will come out on top. - Jack Persons
It's the final game of a five-game home-stand for the Wizards and it's another Western Conference opponent tonight. The Wiz may wish it was another top-seeded opponent, based on how well they've played against the best of the west and their struggles with some of the lesser teams. But tonight, it's the last-place Sacramento Kings (17-33) who enter Verizon Center.
Despite their record, this Kings team can score the ball and are the only team in the NBA with three 20 point scorers. Although he missed Friday's game with the flu, Rudy Gay will be active and back in the lineup tonight for Sacramento. Along with Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins, they form what of the most dangerous trios in the NBA today. Thomas is a quick point guard whose game has really blossomed since he was the last pick in the draft three years ago. Gay has been well traveled of late, but is still a lethal scorer who can score in a variety of ways. And DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins is a dominant low post scorer who terrorizes teams on the glass and around the rim.
Randy Wittman talked about the challenges of facing this 3-headed monster tonight:
The Wiz will fly to Memphis tomorrow for Tuesday's #WizGrizzlies game and then to Houston on Wednesday for the last game before the All-Star break.