Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The Washington Wizards fell to the Sacramento Kings, 95-94, after John Wall missed two free throws that would have given the Wizards a two-point lead. Those two misses ended up being the difference.
The Washington Wizards fell to the Sacramento Kings, 95-94, losing after John Wall missed two free throws with 30 seconds left, Bradley Beal missed a floater and Wall missed a last-ditch attempt at the buzzer. Tyreke Evans hit one free throw between all that, and it was enough to win the game.
That ending was really unfortunate. They were this close to going on a four-game winning streak and they just couldn't finish it.
The Wizards led for the majority of the game, but Wall, Nene and Co. just weren't able to overcome the physicality of DeMarcus Cousins and ball skills of Tyreke Evans. Evans finished with 21 points and the deciding free throw with 11 seconds left in the game, while Cousins was fantastic down the stretch, tying the game for the first time at 91 with a Eurostep layup. Martell Webster and John Salmons then traded threes, and Wall was fouled after stealing the ball from Cousins and getting hit by Jimmer Fredette in the open floor. Then, he missed both free throws and you know how the rest ended.
Oh well, the streak was fun while it lasted. At least Wall, outside of those free throws, and Beal looked really good. Wall had 14 points and 10 assists in limited minutes, while Beal had 26 points.
Here are your chronological notes.
- The first few minutes of the game were basically a battle between Sacramento's off-the-dribble attack and Washington's Nene-centric offense. Nene had a couple of assists early on, the best of which was to Webster for a nasty dunk over Cousins.
- Tyreke Evans is hot early on, making 5 of his first 6 shots by my count. Washington doesn't have anyone who can match his strength and mobility.
- Nene came out with two fouls and Washington's offense fell apart. Wall came in and people started moving around a bit again and it stayed close. 29-28 with 1:21 left in the first.
- Sacramento is up 32-31 at the end of the first quarter.
- As is usually the case, Seraphin continues to shoot every time he touches the ball. Even when the shots are falling, and they're not as I type this, it's not even necessarily a good thing for the offense. He never puts the ball on the floor and isn't a good enough one on one player to draw defenses' attention. Washington's cutters stop cutting and the guards aren't good enough shooters to simply spot up above the break.
- Vesely is active but relatively ineffective through the first four minutes of the second quarter. He's giving up deep post position to Thomas Robinson on almost every trip down the court.
- Wall had an awesome tip in off a Trevor Ariza lob. Dude basically jumped over Garcia and made the free throw for the three point play.
- Nene is such a good passer. He hit Beal with a gorgeous bounce pass from half court for a layup in transition toward the middle of the second quarter.
- Beal's shooting with a lot of confidence. His three makes it 49-44 with 3:09 left in the second quarter.
- Price-to-Okafor for the alley oop in transition. Yep, that actually happened.
- Cousins really loves midrange jumpers. His bricks are the main reason Washington was able to jump out to a ten point lead before Evans' layup cut it to eight at halftime.
- It's 56-48 at halftime. Beal is your MVP so far with 15 points and four assists. Evans and Salmons are the only Kings who have been good.
- Washington's defense looks really tight to start the third. The few shots that the Kings actually make were all either difficult or fluke-y.
- Evans crossed up Beal and made him fall. It wasn't pretty.
- It's a cliche, but Wall really is a one man fast break. Every time he got the ball in the third quarter he would immediately sprint up the court, frequently finding Beal or Webster spotting up behind the arc. Wall played great transition defense, too, and had a great chasedown block on Tyreke Evans.
- Sacramento started getting out in transition more in the second half and managed to get things close after being down by as much as 11. Evans in particular has been a terror on the break.
- 77-72 Washington at the end of the third quarter. Beal and Nene have been good for Nene, but Evans was better for a quarter.
- Beal took a charge on Evans in transition as the fourth quarter opened. It was a great play and will hopefully cause Evans to get out of his groove. On the next play he hit a three to put Washington up 80-72.
- Washington just cannot score in the fourth quarter. Sacramento's quantity over quality approach to offense is working out a lot better now that Fredette and Salmons are getting touches. 84-84 with 6:30 left in the game.
- Washington's offense is so much better when Wall and Nene are on the floor together. It's crazy how much more difficult the Wizards are to defend when there are two guys on the floor who can draw the attention of defenses.
- Nene almost singlehandedly won the game for Washington, but some bad shooting from Seraphin and a Cousins three point play tied it up at 91.
- Evans hit a free throw to put Sacramento ahead with 11 seconds left. Unfortunately, Beal and Wall missed what would have been game winners. Frack.