Wizards-Kings Preview

The Washington Wizards turned in a poor defensive performance and were unable to attack in transition, ending their second-longest winning streak this season.

They’re hoping a second matchup with the Sacramento Kings in less than two weeks can bring them another lopsided victory.

Washington seeks a sixth win in seven games Sunday when it visits Sacramento.

The Wizards (40-29), who are one game behind fourth-place Toronto in the Eastern Conference, shot 51.4 percent and limited four opponents to 41.5 or worse while winning five in a row, their most since a six-game run from Dec. 8-19.

They shot 43.0 percent and let Los Angeles hit 52.3 percent in a 113-99 loss to the Clippers on Friday. Washington gave up 12 3-pointers on 23 attempts after holding teams to 25-of-110 shooting from deep (22.7 percent) in the previous five games.

"We give up 113 points, we’re not going to win. That’s the major thing," coach Randy Wittman said. " … We’ve got to defend. When we defend, we’re pretty good."

Paul Pierce was 2 for 12 and missed eight straight shots at one point, while John Wall was 7 of 18 for 19 points after shooting 58.9 percent during the winning streak.

The Wizards were limited to nine fast-break points, the first time they’ve been held to single digits in 35 games. They had scored at least 20 in transition in four of five.

Washington isn’t far removed from an excellent performance versus Sacramento, however, winning 113-97 on March 14. The Wizards were 13 of 26 from beyond the arc, with Wall hitting 4 of 5 and finishing with 31 points and 12 assists.

The Kings (23-45) have lost eight of 10, defeating Charlotte twice. Friday’s 101-91 victory came without DeMarcus Cousins, who has missed the last two games with a strained right calf. They had been 2-13 when Cousins (23.7 ppg) doesn’t play.

Rudy Gay scored 33, going 11 for 20 after a 6-for-19 showing two nights earlier against the Clippers. Sacramento improved to 15-14 when Gay shoots 50.0 percent or better, and Gay has averaged 27.0 points over his last seven games compared to 20.0 previously.

The Kings, who shoot 33.3 percent from 3-point range, were 9 of 21 from beyond the arc.

"It’s been a long season and we have to put more joy back into playing basketball," Gay said. "A win is good and when we win the way we did by executing plays, knocking down 3s, and playing the way the coach wants us to makes it easier."

Gay scored 24 points in his last game versus Washington, a 117-111 home victory on March 18, 2014, but he had been limited to 9.2 points per game on 26.8 percent shooting in his previous five matchups.

Darren Collison, who averages 16.1 points and 5.6 assists, remains out after missing the last 20 games with a core muscle injury.

Sacramento has won four straight home meetings, while the Wizards have dropped 10 of 12 on the road while averaging 90.0 points. Wall and Bradley Beal are shooting 40.1 and 37.6 percent in that span.