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Game 72 Blog: Washington Wizards @ Sacramento Kings

Quick NCAA thoughts:
How about that Davidson? I can brag that I picked them to upset Georgetown and into the Sweet 16. I know what you’re saying, "What, you picked them in one of the 20 brackets you filled out?" Why, yes. But I only filled out two brackets, in a rather large office pool, which required a monetary contribution for participation. My Davidson bracket has a decent chance with help from UCLA. And now I must apologize to Stephen Curry and his Wildcats. I told my friends earlier this week that there would be no chance of them getting past Wisconsin. Is it right for me? Nope.

To the ‘Zards.

Wizards Insider tells us that the team had yesterday off. But what does that mean? Seattle fans were frustrated as they had Tuesday off while the Wizards were trying to get over the previous night’s "incident" in Portland. I sure was frustrated when the Wizards lost to the Hawks on Monday March 17th after having Sunday off while the Hawks had a tough win in New Jersey the previous night. What gives? I guess they’re professionals and are supposed to be mentally tough enough to disregard fatigue.

Last Time: Wizards won 92-79: Nick Young got the start (AD was out with a sprained knee). The Wizards led the whole game. Brad Miller got a tech. The Lock Smith keyed eight 3-pointers.

Ok, I won’t make you wait……please, by all means, write home about this one.
(I know Jake posted this, but the dunk is so nice that....)

Now let’s start the show…..

Quarter One

It takes 5 seconds for Jamison to score.

It takes 20 seconds for Brad Miller to throw a lob to Kevin Martin.

It takes 45 seconds for DeShawn Stevenson to attempt and miss a 3.

It takes about a minute for Caron Butler to get on board.

10:49 | Ron Artest going at Butler early….gotta love that tuff match-up. 6-4 Kings.

I guess I need to keep track of offensive boards again. Haywood doesn’t block out Mikki Moore after an Artest miss.

9:34 | Mikki fouls Brendan with a strong arm grab. Now that was a grab, not this.

8:11 | Are the Wizards helping too much? It seemed to happen on the covered Artest miss in the lane. This time, ball movement and very slow, unrecognizing Wiz rotation got the Kings a wide open 3 in the corner. No body was near Anthony Johnson. 11-7 Sacramento.

The Kings not only get out and run, but they also like making lengthy passes. Tonight, Stevenson needs to put a lock on Kevin Martin streaking down the court instead of feeling his face.

Are you serious? Only in America…..only in Gilbert Arenas land. During timeout, I checked out some Wizards Outlet with Mike Jones.

As Gilbert Arenas continues to work his way back from that Nov. 21 knee surgery, he is seeking divine intervention and he has put his faith on display in the form of a new tattoo. Agent Zero, who already has an extensive collection of tats, now has a cross with beams of light shining from it inked on his left knee.

Here’s another tattoo idea for Gilbert: Get a tat of your favorite food on your stomach. Perhaps a large hamburger. Or the Cheesecake Factory logo. Remember this Esquire article, The Pathology of Gilbert Arenas?

On the road, I eat hamburgers every day. The team tries to get me to eat differently, but no. Burgers, burgers, burgers. I like burgers. McDonald's burgers. Wendy's burgers. Burger King burgers. There's this one place in Canada--I even look at the schedule to find out when we play there--best burger I've ever tasted. Real soft and sweet. I ate twelve of them in one night.

I’m not sure, but I think I just saw the Wizznut on TV. Some dude in a Wizard (a la Merlin) costume is attending the game in SacTown.

5:00 | Wiz go on an 11-0 run, by playing hustling defense, to get up 19-13.

4:03 | The Kings then go 6-0 capped by a Brad Miller pump fake that caught Haywood like an insomniac. This has been a long 1st quarter. 19 all.

3:31 | Kevin Martin makes a hop-step knifing through the lane where he skip-lands, rather than with both feet at the same time. A travel is not called. Lay-up ties it at 21.

1:50 | DeShawn is not doing a good job of tracking Martin….and thus the Kings offense opens up. 26-22.

Francisco Garcia is doing Antonio Daniels’ hair, brushing him with 5 points in the last two minutes of the first.

Quick Stat: The Kings are shooting very well, 59% - Wiz getting out-rebounded 11-8.

Quarter Two

11:48 | Down goes Lock Smith – he slightly turns his ankle stepping on Kevin Martin’s foot, as he was chasing him, after getting caught up by a Miller pick, without receiving help. Enter Nick Young.

11:18 | Artest would be a superstar if he weren’t such a ball hog. He is strong enough to get in the paint and attract the entire Wizards D…..yet he gets caught trying to do too much, waiting to pass and turning the ball over.

10:48 | Songaila gets over confident with a drive…not always his game, at least when there are defenders to be split. His turnover leads to Sacramento fast break points. 36-29 Sac Town.

The Kings are playing much better, but are shooting themselves in the foot (feet? – do they all have guns?) with 8 turnovers.

9:37 | The Wizards don’t have "active" hands in the passing lanes tonight. Too many easy cuts like Brad Miller right down the middle.

Artest passes this time….the ball swing from Miller to Anthony Johnson – yep, it was off the glass. Insert your own joke about an open financial institution or self verbal prediction of the outcome. 38-30.

Meanwhile in NCAA tourney land:
This year’s Sweet Sixteen should be called the Soporific 16. No good games tonight. Kansas looked like they played a D3 team, but I don’t want to see that going into the Elite 8. I’m glad Davidson won, but cleaning Wisconsin’s clock is not considered must-see-tv. Only one good game: West Virginia vs. Xavier last night.

Wiz step up the D, if not on one possession, to get a shot-clock violation on the Kings. The Lock Smith has made it back to the bench and Steve Buck reports that he is eligible to return.

The Kings have 10 turnovers through 3/8 of the game.

5:58 | This transition D is becoming distressing. Garcia comes down, Anthony Johnson sneaks behind him, Francisco drops the pass off…..trey ball. 12 point King lead and living in a world where Anthony Johnson is the leading scorer in the game – 13 points.

The news is in: Phil Chenier is now a grandfather.

3:47 | The Kings have 12 turnovers, the Wizards have 5….AD hits a three to cut it to 8, 51-43.

2:54 | Not a good start to return to Cali for Nick Young. He goes up towards the rim, forced to double-clutch, doesn’t have enough juice and loses the ball right before the basket as he takes a dive towards the end line. Next time down the court, he goes hard and gets fouled by call.

1:28 | Then this happens: Caron gets blocked. Jamison misses a fast-break lay-up that was challenged by Brad Miller, Caron gets blocked, Kings take a 55-43 lead, Eddie Jordan takes a timeout.

The Wizards are struggling. The only reason that they are down 12 is the Kings turnovers and the fact that they’ve missed some easy shots themselves. It could easily be a 25 point deficit for DC.

Kings are leading in all the "hustle stats" – especially points in paint, 20-10.

0:00 | Kings up 58-47. I don’t even want to look at stats. This game is about will to win.

Quarter Three

11:15 | Haywood gets a nice start to the 3rd with a 3-point play.

9:22 | Then the easiness continues for the Kings….and Brad Miller. 66-50.

7:37 | Jamison is trying his best to put the team on his shoulders and Stevenson is being a warrior getting an And 1. Down 12, but the Wiz desperately need some defense…..Jamison drawing a charge, the 5 th foul on Mikki Moore, helps.

Aaaaand Mikki gets one….then a second technical. Mikki has been talking the whole game. Leading the league with 270 fouls on the year, not sure how he has the vocal chords to get techs this late in the season with a 32-39 record.

So, Moore is gone. And Spencer Hawes left earlier with a bum ankle.

7:26 | Butler makes the tech, Artest gets an easy look from the top of the key, Antonio Daniels gets a chance for a 3-point play, but misses the FT. Still, it’s at 10, 70-60 SacTown….. and it’s a long game.

6:31 | This is one of the first times I’ve thought this:……I’m enthusiastic that Songaila is back in the game. He gets the board, Wiz run and Tuff Juice throws a perfect pass to Jamison for the alley-oop dunk. Wow. AJ can still get up like that? And one, Wizards down 7.

5:45 | And the Kings score with a friendly bounce. Brad Miller, 72-63.

5:18 | But AD hits a wing jumper. The Wizards aren’t getting all the defensive stops I’d like (despite a 12-4 run), but their scoring at least keeps the Kings from scoring more.

4:39 | The theme continues with Kings points from K-Mart and a Stevenson mid-range J. 74-67 bucket action.

3:34 | D-Song, reacting to loose balls with cat-like quickness, AND scoring. Wiz are down 3.

3:06 | D-Song with an offensive rebound.

Oh. My. Dear. Lord ……an unbelievable slam by Caron Butler . The damn thing kinda rattled me. I haven’t seen them all, but that might his sickest dunk ever. It started with a wicked right to left cross on Salmons and then throwing the rock right-handed into the basket, Dwight Howard super-man style, right over Kevin Martin. Tuff Juice kept a calm and collective look on his face while the Wizards on and off the court couldn’t contain their emotion. The air went out of the arena like the Mars compound in Total Recall.

1:54 | Tuff Juice, all-star steal, open court, 2 hand easy stuff. Tie game folks. Caron and Artest are really going at it…..and Jamison draws a charge against Artest on the other end. It’s so much nicer when the load is spread among many shoulders…what is that called? A team effort.

1:23 | D-Song knocking Brad Miller out the way for the bucket….AND1. Aside from Songaila getting winded, I’d be comfortable with Darius staying in the rest of the game against Miller and Haywood staying on the bench.

0:30 | D-Song offensive rebound off a Mason three miss. The Wiz can’t convert but an excellent way to end the 3rd, with a 29-11 run. Wiz up 82-79. Stevenson had 7 points in the 3rd, Butler had 8, Songaila had 5 points, 3 rebounds in 6.5 minutes.

Quarter Four

17 turnovers is now catching up with the Kings.

11:41 | Roger Mason gets a confident 2 from the corner; good to get him warmed up after missing two 3s (0-4 total on FGs).

10:45 | A "zeroed-in" Mason nails a trey from the corner to give the Wizards an 8 point lead.

This affords Caron Butler some rest in favor of Dominic McGuire. Good, we need the rook to make some noise on the boards anyway.

9:41 | Silent Assassin…..BUCKETS! Wizards are up 11, 92-81. The SacTown fans are sitting on their clappers.

Timeout Kings.

7:30 | Kings promptly go on a 6-0 run.

Mason looses some of his luster, missing two shots and turning the ball over. Jamison and Butler help a little, but the Kings have been off and running, cutting the Wiz lead to 2 with a 13-4 run in just over 3 minutes since their timeout. 96-94, Wiz timeout with 5:37 left to play.

And that’s how it goes after timeouts.

4:11 | DeShawn Stevenson knocks down a couple threes in about 75 seconds. 104-97.

1:52 | Haywood misses a fadeaway in the paint. A F-ING FADEAWAY!

1:20 | But the Kings and Ron Artest are not going away. His FTs make is 106-103 Wiz.

Eddie has seen enough, he brings D-Song back in for Haywood.

0:58 | CUE D-Song ! Who sees Miller fall asleep on him, cuts to the basket and receives the perfect pass from Caron for the lay-up. 108-103.

0:51 | Artest for a long deuce.

0:36 | Song-g-g-g-GAILA! With a bucket off the glass, sweet bounce pass assist from Caron. I guess that Brad Miller is just a horrible match-up for Brendan Haywood. 110-105.

0:33.7 | Up 5, need a stop…..Artest misses a pull up 3 on Butler. Daniels gets the rebound…and turns the ball over trying to pass to Caron. Wrong move. Luckily, Garcia misses a wide-open 3.

Songaila, a 90% free-throw shooter, nails 2 to seal the deal.

Not just yet as Caron gives Artest a lay-up and a foul, made FT, 112-108 Wizards….only 5 seconds left.

0:04 | D-Song makes 2 more FTs… over.

Wow, not only have the Wizards found a way to keep us guessing with their effort from game to game, but now we are forced to dissect bewilderment by half, or quarter.

Your 2007-2008 Washington Wizards: Ready to Confuse

What a great win.

  • Jamison obviously had a great game, 25 points, 12 rebounds.
  • Couldn’t have done it without Tuff Juice, he did way more than his dunk….try 3 steals, 7 assists and 6 rebounds to add to 18 points.
  • But the game MVP goes to Darius Songaila: 17 points on 6-8 shooting with 5 rebounds in just under 19 minutes off the bench. D-Song’s ability to neutralize Brad Miller more effectively than Haywood greatly contributed to the Wizards turnaround in the 3 rd quarter AND he came up huge with 8 points in the last 60 seconds. Box

See Ya Sacramento

Downtown Sacramento - flickr/heypaul