Road Reaction: Sacramento Kings 96, Washington Wizards 94

by James Ham and Jonathan Santiago

On the back of Isaiah Thomas, the Sacramento Kings pulled out a 96-94 win tonight over the Washington Wizards.  With less than 10 seconds remaining, the Kings starting point guard took his defender to task with a big floater in the lane that won the game.  The victory gives the Kings their fifth-road win of the year.  Sacramento also moves to 17-29 overall on the season.

Notes and Analysis

  • Isaiah Thomas shined tonight against former first overall pick John Wall.  The second-year guard out of Washington finished with 22 points, seven assists, four rebounds and only one turnover in 32 minutes.  Thomas set the table for a Kings offense that finished with 24 assists on the night.  The only real negative for Thomas was a very uncharacteristic 3-for-7 shooting from the free throw line.
  • With John Salmons struggling with the flu, Francisco Garcia played a huge role off the Kings’ bench.  The veteran wing scored 17 points overall, going 6-for-10 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3-point range in the victory.
  • Keith Smart went away from DeMarcus Cousins for long stretches tonight.  In fact, Cousins didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter.  The Kings go-to-guy finished with just 12 points and four rebounds in 26 minutes of action.  Cousins turned the ball over three times in his limited minutes, but he also added two steals and a block.
  • Jason Thompson also saw reduced playing time tonight and much of it was by his doing.  The Kings starting power forward battled foul trouble early, picking up two personals in the first quarter.  With the shaky start, he just wasn’t able to get anything going and finished with two points on 1-of-4 shooting and five rebounds in about 14 minutes of play.
  • With the Kings’ starting frontline limited in minutes, Chuck Hayes and Thomas Robinson picked up the slack.  Hayes and Robinson played all but 13 seconds in the fourth quarter and finished with 21 and 28 minutes to their credit, respectively.  The Kings really benefited from Robinson and Hayes’ effort on defense.
  • Stat of the Night: The game winner was an NBA career first for Isaiah Thomas.

Three answers to three questions pondered

1.  Will DeMarcus Cousins be a factor tonight?

Cousins is always a factor, but the Wizards’ frontline did a nice job of limiting him to a modest 12 points and four rebounds in 26 minutes of action.  Cousins continued to struggle with turnovers, giving the ball away three times.  And on the defensive end, he was one of a group of Kings who struggled to slow down Emeka Okafor.  The Wizards veteran finished the night with 23 points and 15 rebounds.

2.  Can the Kings contain Bradley Beal?

After posting a career-high 26 points against the Kings last time out, the rookie out of Florida struggled to get anything going tonight.  Beal finished with just six points on 2-for-6 shooting in 25 minutes for the Wizards.

3.  Will turnovers once again be an issue for the Kings?

The Kings played a measured style of hoops on Monday.  Unlike their previous four games, where they had averaged at least 21 turnovers per contest, Sacramento wasn’t careless with the basketball against Washington.  The Kings limited their turnovers to just 10 in the win over the Wizards.  At seven to one, Isaiah Thomas posted the best assist-to-turnover ratio on the evening.

comments

Tags

About: James Ham

James Ham provides coverage through news analysis and in-depth interviews with Kings players and staff. James is also one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart". James graduated UC Davis with a degree in history and is happily married with two children.