Kings 95, Wizards 94

Tyreke Evans says he’s feeling more comfortable, which means
that opponents are starting to feel very uncomfortable trying to
contain the Sacramento Kings talented guard.

Evans had 21 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and also
hit a free throw late in the game, helping the Kings beat the
Washington Wizards 95-94 on Wednesday night.

With the score tied, Evans was fouled on a drive to the basket
with 11.4 seconds left. He made one of two free throws to give the
Kings a 95-94 lead.

”I had him beat, and I don’t think he meant to do it, but he
(Nene) tripped me,” said Evans, who ran down the shot clock before
making his move to the basket.

Evans said the second free throw, a miss that was way off the
mark, slipped out of his hands and the Wizards secured the rebound
and called timeout.

Bradley Beal missed a runner in the closing seconds and John
Wall followed with a desperation shot from inside the foul lane
that never hit the rim.

”I was open at first because I set my man up, and we set a
great screen on (John) Salmons,” Bradley said. ”He was stuck and
I was wide open. At the last minute they switched and I had Chuck
Hayes on me. He took a bad angle, but he got into my body and I had
to take a tougher shot than I wanted.”

Evans had a strong game offensively, but had plenty of help.
DeMarcus Cousins had nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter
and also had 16 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Salmons
made a big three in the fourth quarter and also scored 21
points.

Jimmer Fredette scored all 12 of his points for the Kings in the
second half when they had to overcome an 11-point deficit.
Sacramento outscored the Wizards 23-17 in the fourth quarter in
improving its home record to 12-10.

”Having three players have 21 points, that’s sharing the
ball,” said Cousins, who had six of the Kings’ 18 turnovers. ”It
was a good team game for us all around.”

A rookie guard, Beal scored 26 points and made six 3-pointers,
both career highs. Despite Beal’s effort and a solid game overall
offensively, the Wizards had their three-game winning streak
snapped. The modest streak included impressive wins over Oklahoma
City and Atlanta.

The Wizards have the worst overall record (7-29) in the NBA and
are also a league worst 1-16 on the road. But Kings coach Keith
Smart still thought his team was in for a tough game.

”I knew how well they were playing and the teams they had
beaten,” Smart said. ”I knew they were playing like a good
basketball team entering this game.”

Kevin Seraphin had 16 points and Nene contributed 15 points,
nine rebounds and six assists. Wall had 14 points, 10 assists and
three steals in a season-high 26 minutes.

Wall had a chance to give the Wizards a lead with 30 seconds
left. He was fouled after stealing the ball from Cousins. But Wall
missed both free throws and the Kings secured the rebound and
called timeout with 30 seconds left to set up Evans’ drive.

It was Wall’s third game after missing the season’s first 33
with an injured his left knee. He demonstrated his trademark
quickness in the opening half, getting to the basket numerous times
when he scored 10 points in only nine minutes.

Washington shot 45 percent, hit 8 of 17 threes, and tied a
season-high with 32 assists. Yet they faded in the fourth quarter,
shooting 6 of 17 and committing five turnovers.

”I felt good tonight, except that I missed two free throws,”
Wall said. ”I’m not taking any credit from them. I just felt like
we gave the game away. We were up big twice, but Jimmer came off
the bench and gave them a big spark.”

The Kings were down five points in the fourth before Cousins
took over. He made a reverse layup and then on the Kings’ next
possession muscled inside for a basket and was fouled. Cousins made
the free throw, and the three-point played tied the game at 91 with
1:46 left.

The Wizards led 56-48 at the half and were able to maintain a
five-point edge heading into the fourth despite shooting 8-for-21
in the third quarter.

After not playing in the first half, Fredette got the Kings
stagnant offense going in the third quarter, making his first shot
and adding a pair of 3s.

”I thought that we needed a shooter, we got that (from
Fredette,” Smart said. ”Jimmer had a couple of plays and made
some big 3-pointers for us.”

Sacramento players contend they have not let the rumors of the
team being bought and moved next year to Seattle bother them.
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA star, is leading the
effort to keep the Kings in Sacramento.

Notes: Wall converted on a a lob pass early in the second
quarter and was fouled on the play. He made the free throw for his
second three-point play of the period. … Seraphin, the Wizards’
backup center, scored eight points in four first-quarter minutes. .
Ankle problems sidelined Washington’s Jordan Crawford and Trevor
Booker. … The Kings had a season-best 62 points in the paint.