CK Press Box Report: Kings 109, Wizards 86

By James Ham and Rui Thomas

Sacramento Kings' Rudy Gay watches on. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

Revenge is a dish best served on Sunday afternoon. Eight days after being embarrassed in Washington, the Sacramento Kings (24-45) played some of their best basketball to date in a win over the Wizards (40-30), by the final score of 109-86.

“I think it’s the best game we’ve probably played since I’ve been here,” George Karl told the media after the game. That’s probably the best game we’ve played both offensively and defensively.”

The Kings made it a track meet, outracing the Wizards in fast break points 26-16. With numerous dunks and layups, Sacramento shot over 50 percent and dished 24 assists to 17 turnovers. They also went 21-of-23 from the free throw line.

Sacramento’s defense was equally stellar. They contained Washington to 40.2 percent shooting from the floor and 3-of-17 from behind the arc. The Wizards struggled to initiate their offense and surrendered 20 points off 17 turnovers to the Kings.

“We didn’t have a lot of bad moments,” Karl noted. “We didn’t have any bad flaws, other than we still take some easy basketball plays and play like we’re trying to be the Harlem Globetrotters instead of the Sacramento Kings.”

Rudy Gay led all scorers with 26 points. DeMarcus Cousins produced 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists despite foul trouble, and Omri Casspi notched 14 points and five assists. Every Kings starter reached double figures in scoring.

For the Wizards, Bradley Beal had 19 points, and Nene recorded 11 points and six rebounds. John Wall made only 3-of-10 field goals for nine points after scoring 31 points in his last match versus the Kings.

With the victory, Sacramento wins two games in a row for the first time since late November. They’ll host the Philadelphia 76ers (17-52) on Tuesday before embarking on a four-game road trip.

Notes and Analysis

  • Omri Casspi is taking full advantage of his opportunity to start alongside DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay on the frontline.  The soon-to-be free agent has earned George Karl’s trust and if he has a few more nights like this, he may earn a lot more than that.  Casspi finished with 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting and chipped in five assists and three steals in the win.
  • Gay is thriving in the dribble drive motion offense.  Despite matching up against the bigger Nene, Gay held his own on the defensive end and on the offensive side he was unstoppable.  Coming into the night, Gay was averaging 24.4 points a night in 14 games under Karl.  Tonight he dropped in 26 on 10-for-19 shooting in just 32 minutes of action.
  • Cousins looked reenergized after a two-game layoff.  The big man destroyed the Wizards during a third quarter stretch and finished the night with 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 23 minutes.  
  • Ben McLemore looked like he was going to have another off night.  He missed all three of his shots in the first half and finished scoreless.  But then he woke up.  McLemore hit 7-of-8 shots after the intermission, finishing the game with 17 points and four steals in 31 minutes of action.
  • Ray McCallum continues to provide solid play in Darren Collison’s absence.  The second-year guard rounded out a stellar performance from the Kings starting lineup, finishing the game with 13 points and six assists in 30 minutes of action.
  • Stat of the Night: The Kings shot 8-of-17 from downtown and held the Wizards to just 3-for-17 from deep.

Quote of the Game

DeMarcus Cousins on consistency

“This shows that we do have the ability to do it, so we want to do it on a nightly basis and be a consistent team on the defensive end. There’s no more excuses for us.”

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