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Wizards start homestand with win over Kings, 121-115
Sometimes, it’s good to go home. For the Wizards, it’s the perfect time to stay for awhile. Washington started a stretch of five straight home games Monday at a do-or-die time of the season, and it got off on the right foot. Bradley Beal’s near-triple-double (27 points, nine rebounds, nine assists) led seven double-figure scorers as the Wizards toppled the Kings in D.C., 121-115.
Competing on the boards was a focus for Washington after rebounding struggles led to their demise twice on the road over the weekend, and the Wizards drew even with Sacramento on Monday. Bobby Portis’ 17 points and 13 rebounds led that effort, while Trevor Ariza also added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Tomas Satoransky did a little of everything on the night, scoring 17 points to go with seven assists and six rebounds.
“We had some experience the last two games playing close games,” said head coach Scott Brooks. “I thought we executed down the stretch, we got the stops that we needed. The key to tonight was we didn't give up a lot of offensive rebounds like we did the last two games. Hopefully that continues. We rebound, we give ourselves the best chance to win. I thought we were good. I thought guys came in--our starters came in--and set the tone from the start of the game.”
A 17-2 Wizards run in the first quarter coupled with 15 straight field goal misses from the Kings led to a 28-20 Washington lead early. Satoransky’s nine points in the frame led the way, and Sacramento shot just 28.6% in the first.
The Kings caught fire in the second, shooting 58% in the frame on the wings of De’Aaron Fox (15 of his 23 points in the quarter) and Nemanja Bjelica (10 of his 15 points). Both teams committed just one turnover in the quarter, but Sacramento still outscored the Wizards by nine to take a one-point lead into the halftime break. Jabari Parker helped keep Washington afloat, scoring 11 of his bench-leading 18 points in the second.
Washington delivered the knockout punch out of the gate in the third quarter, rattling off a 14-2 run orchestrated by Portis, Green, and Beal. The trio combined for 23 points in the quarter, and the Wizards assisted on 11 of their 12 field goals. They also broke through defensively in the third, scoring 12 points off of seven Kings turnovers. On the night, their 25 points off of 16 Sacramento miscues played a major role in securing a victory.
Beal saved his best for last, playing closer for the Wizards once again Monday. His 13 points in the quarter helped fend off the Kings down the stretch after they took a brief lead with a quick 6-0 run with just under four minutes remaining in the game.“Definitely good to be able to finish this five-game series with a win,” said Beal. “We break them up into a five-game series. This is a good week for us because we were 3-2. We’ve got five more this upcoming week so we got to make sure we are ready to go. Tonight is the way we need to play moving forward for sure. It was great energy on both ends.”
Washington continues its homestand Wednesday with its final meeting of the season with the Magic. After Monday’s win, Orlando is now 2.5 games ahead of the Wizards and in the No. 9 position in the East. Miami still holds a 3.5-game lead over Washington for the final playoff spot, while Charlotte is two games up in the No.10 spot. Tip-off against Orlando is set for 7:00 P.M. ET.