Thomas’ shot ends Kings’ skid, top Wizards 96-94
Posted at: 01/28/2013 9:07 PM
By JOSEPH WHITE
(AP) WASHINGTON - Isaiah Thomas made a floater with a second to play, capping a seesaw finish as the Sacramento Kings broke a four-game losing streak with a 96-94 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday night.
Thomas dribbled down the clock after the Wizards tied the game on Martell Webster’s short jumper with 7.9 seconds to play, then drove down the middle and put the ball in with a soft touch from 9 feet.
Thomas had 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and also had seven assists. Francisco Garcia scored 17 points for the Kings in a game that included 16 ties and 11 lead changes.
Emeka Okafor scored a season-high 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and John Wall had 19 points and six assists for the Wizards, whose home winning streak ended at five games. Still, Washington is 6-4 and has been competitive in every game since Wall’s return from a knee injury.
The Kings, on the second game of a six-game road trip, had been plagued by turnovers during their losing streak _ averaging 21 over their previous three games _ but they committed only 11 against the Wizards.
Okafor’s 11-foot jumper with 2:26 remaining tied the game at 88, and Thomas made 1 of 2 with 2:14 to go to put the Kings ahead by one and set up a game of back-and-forth leads.
Nene made a nice dish to Wall for a layup to put the Wizards back in front with 2:01 left, but Thomas’ falling-down, high-arc floater with 1:10 on the clock restored the Kings’ advantage.
Wall missed a layup that would have given the Wizards the lead, but Washington forced a shot clock violation at the other end. However, Nene got caught in no-man’s land driving into the paint and committed a turnover, giving the Kings the ball with 25 seconds to go.
Evans broke the series of one-point leads by making a pair of free throws with 19.6 left to put Sacramento ahead 93-90. Wall’s layup pulled the Wizards within one with 12.6 to go, and Evans made 1 of 2 free throws with 11.7 remaining to make the score 94-92.
Webster then tied the game, giving the Kings the chance to set up the winning shot for Thomas.
Win or lose, the Wizards have become a fast, versatile and quite entertaining team to watch, with Wall and Bradley Beal running the floor and Okafor and Nene complementing each other inside. Wall’s first half highlight was a hesitation-acceleration layup that prompted the sound effects crew to play a siren _ as if Wall had been cited for speeding.
Okafor was the go-to guy in the first quarter, with 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting. Garcia was on target in the second, making 4 of 5 3-pointers and scoring 15 points.
The Wizards led 57-53 at halftime, and not even a four-point play by Webster could open up much of a lead.
Notes: Kings F John Salmons played the entire first quarter, then left the game with a stomach virus and did not return. ... The Wizards’ last six-game home winning streak came during the 2006-07 season, when they won 10 straight.
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(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)