That was disappointing.
The Wizards lost to the Kings, 117-111, in overtime after John Wall missed two free throws that would have put the game away in regulation, setting up Rudy Gay for the game-tying shot. A three from Bradley Beal gave Washington a two-point lead with 1:41 to go in OT, but Sacramento went on to score the last six points of the game en route to the win.
Wall wasn't having the best game even before the missed free throws. He finished with 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting (2-of-6 FTs), eight assists and five turnovers. Despite his late three, Beal struggled mightily, shooting 7-for-23, including 2-of-8 from three. Marcin Gortat had a solid game with 19 points and 14 rebounds, and Drew Gooden was once again dynamite off the bench, scoring 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
Still, it's probably best to just forget this game ever happened. Thing is, now that the Wizards have blown their chance at an easy win over the Kings (who entered last night's game with a 23-44 record), it just makes the rest of this four-game West Coast swing all the more daunting. Nothing short of a 3-1 record would have been considered a successful trip, and achieving that now will mean beating the Trail Blazers, who might be without Lamarcus Aldridge, so it's not impossible. But shoot, even 2-2 might be a struggle; Washington has to play the Lakers the day after the Blazers, and then finishes the trip against the Nuggets, who have been playing better of late.
But that's just the start. The Wizards then come home to face the Suns, Pacers, Hawks and Bobcats. Washington has already struggled against Phoenix, Indiana and Charlotte this season, and don't look now, but eight-seed Atlanta has won five in a row and is suddenly only 3.5 games back of the the sixth-seeded Wizards. If Washington doesn't get its act back together and fast, a 2-7 (counting the Kings loss) stretch is not out of the question.
Strap up folks. This "playoffs" thing might not be as much of a cakewalk as it appeared a week ago.
Road team recaps: BF StoryStream | Washington Post (gamer, sidebar) | AP | CSN Washington (recap, sidebar) | Wiz of Awes | DC Pro Sports Report | Hoop District | District Sports Page | Ted's Take | Wizards.com | Monumental Network | Daily Wizdom
16 - Sacramento's rebounding advantage (57-to-41) against Washington.
70 - Free throws attempted by the Kings (40) and Wizards (30) last night. Holy schnikes.
20 - Points scored by DeMarcus Cousins after the third quarter. He entered the fourth having scored five points to go with four rebounds. He ended the game with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Sheesh.
TWEETS OF THE NIGHT
Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) March 19, 2014
Wall has now hit as many threes as Beal did last year.— Akbar Naqvi (@A_Naqvi_WoA) March 19, 2014
This feels a lot like that Jazz game to start off the west coast trip two months ago— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) March 19, 2014
um. Wizards have Portland Thursday, back to back in LA vs. lakers, then a suddenly-decent Nuggets team in altitude Sunday. Welp— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) March 19, 2014
VIDEO/GIF OF THE NIGHT
Some Grade-A steez on this play. (H/T @netw3rk)