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Wizards finish road trip 4-2 with win against the Kings

Washington Wizards v Sacramento Kings
Wizards guard Russell Westbrook dishes one of his 11 assists in Washington’s victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

The Wizards won their second in a row and fourth in five games to complete their six-game road trip 4-2 and move within a game of tenth in the East.

While I had the Wizards as modest underdogs in this one, it had the makings of a “get well” game for their offense, which has struggled to score efficiently this season. The Sacramento Kings entered the game allowing 118.3 points per 100 possessions — worst in NBA history.

It didn’t quite work out that way. Washington shot well — .561 effective field goal percentage — and grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, but also committed 24 turnovers. Few of those miscues were the result of defensive pressure because the Kings defend with about the same intensity the Wizards showed much of last season.

For a second straight game, Russell Westbrook led the Wizards to a victory — this time with a superb 25 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists, 4 steals triple-double. The only mar on his stat line: 7 turnovers. The turnovers were a mix of bad passes, getting stripped, and just losing the ball for no apparent reason. Still, his overall performance was excellent, even with the turnovers.

Westbrook was helped by timely threes from Davis Bertans (4-7 from deep), solid contributions from Deni Avdija (who made several good defensive plays), an efficient performance by Ish Smith, and some volume scoring from Bradley Beal.

While Westbrook led the team in turnovers, his teammates were also guilty of giving the ball back to the Kings. Beal committed 5 turnovers. Alex Len managed 4 in just 17 minutes. Rui Hachimura had 3, and Robin Lopez 2.

For the Kings, De’Aaron Fox was very good (33 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals), and Tyrese Haliburton and Hassan Whiteside were good. Haliburton managed an above average PPA (see below) despite shooting just 3-13 from the floor. Registering 6 assists and 6 steals with zero turnovers and just 1 foul will do that.

Four Factors

Below are the four factors that decide who wins and loses in basketball — shooting (efg), rebounding (offensive rebounds), ball handling (turnovers), fouling (free throws made).

I’ve simplified them a bit. While the factors are usually presented as percentages, that’s more useful over a full season. In a single game, the raw numbers in each category are easier to understand.

PACE is possessions per 48 minutes.

Four Factors: Wizards at Kings

EFG 0.511 0.561
OREB 5 14
TOV 17 24
FTM 18 22
PACE 110
ORTG 101 112

Player Production Average

Below are Player Production Average (PPA) results from last night’s game. PPA is my overall production metric, which credits players for things they do that help a team win (scoring, rebounding, play-making, defending) and dings them for things that hurt (missed shots, turnovers, bad defense, fouls). PPA is a per possession stat that includes accounting for defense and role. In PPA, 100 is average and higher is better.

The table below is sorted by each player’s total contributions for the game.

POSS is the number of possessions each player was on the floor in this game.

Wizards PPA

Russell Westbrook 36 84 180 11
Davis Bertans 22 50 232 20
Deni Avdija 31 72 131 -6
Ish Smith 23 52 170 16
Bradley Beal 36 83 106 -1
Raul Neto 4 9 402 2
Rui Hachimura 35 80 41 -2
Robin Lopez 14 32 91 2
Daniel Gafford 16 36 80 11
Alex Len 17 39 -33 -4
Garrison Mathews 7 16 -104 11

Kings PPA

De'Aaron Fox 40 91 179 -3
Tyrese Haliburton 29 67 131 -5
Hassan Whiteside 26 61 127 -1
Buddy Hield 36 82 89 6
Harrison Barnes 40 91 31 0
Terence Davis 16 38 61 -7
Chimezie Metu 6 13 132 -7
Damian Jones 16 38 27 -5
Maurice Harkless 20 46 -24 -19
Delon Wright 15 35 -82 -19