After a promising start, the Washington Wizards’ road trip ended
in miserable fashion. A matchup with the struggling Sacramento
Kings during their return to Verizon Center could provide some
positivity heading into the All-Star break.
The Wizards will try to snap a three-game slide by adding to
their recent home dominance of the Kings on Wednesday night.
Washington recorded back-to-back victories for the first time
this season during the start of a five-game trek but dropped the
final three games by an average of 16.0 points, capped by a 104-88
defeat to Phoenix on Monday.
The Wizards (7-25) led by a point early in the third quarter but
were outscored 31-6 over the rest of the period. Jordan Crawford,
who had a team-best 20 points, is averaging 18.5 over his last four
“We were up by one and then went on a spree of the most selfish
basketball I have seen since I have taken over,” coach Randy
Wittman said. “I have to find the right people to play the right
way because I am not letting that slip back in.”
If Wittman can do that, it might give Washington a better chance
at its seventh consecutive home win against the Kings (10-22).
Sacramento enters the Verizon Center having dropped a season-high
six straight and six in a row on the road.
The Kings are also 0-5 on their six-game trip following a
120-108 defeat to Miami on Tuesday. Sacramento failed to recover
from a 15-5 fourth-quarter burst by the Heat.
Rookie guard Isaiah Thomas was a bright spot with a season-high
24 points, including 20 in the third quarter, and he made five of
his team’s season-high 13 3-pointers. Marcus Thornton’s 23 points
gave him at least 21 in three consecutive games.
Sacramento, though, gave up 25 points off its 15 turnovers and
allowed Miami to shoot 55.6 percent.
“You needed to play a perfect game to win this game against this
team and we were pretty close to the perfect game,” coach Keith
Smart said. “We had moments, but when you give up 25 points off
turnovers, you’re not going to beat many teams.”
The Kings did plenty of scoring against the Wizards last season
as their 124.5-point average was their highest against any
opponent. However, they didn’t play well at the other end of the
floor during last season’s visit to the nation’s capital,
especially against Nick Young, during a 136-133 overtime
Young had a career-high 43 points to lead six players in double
figures, including John Wall with 22, during his team’s best
scoring performance since a 144-139 overtime win in Phoenix on Dec.
The Wizards’ 107.4-point average against the Kings since the
beginning of the 2004-05 season is their second-highest versus any
opponent, but they have split their last four overall in the
Sacramento, though, might not have John Salmons available for
this matchup. The swingman, who came off the bench in the previous
two games, was a late scratch Tuesday because of a sore right
Sacramento hasn’t lost seven straight since an eight-game slide
Dec. 11-27, 2010.