Photo credit: @sbgglobal
By: Jeremiah Salmonson
In the first half, it was a tale of two quarters for the Kings. The Kings appeared to get off to a quick start against the Washington Wizards, scoring the first five points, but that would prove to be just a mirage at the Capital One Arena Monday evening. After that, De’Aaron Fox and company struggled mightily in the first quarter. The Kings were only able to muster 20 points while shooting 29% from the field and making two of three from the stripe. The Wizards, on the other hand, were able to score 28 points to take control of the game in the first.
In the second quarter, the Kings flipped the script. The Kings put up an impressive 40 points to take the lead in the game 60-59 going into the locker room at the half. At one point, Fox went on a run to score 15 points in just over 3:30. Going into the locker room, the Kings appeared to have some confidence after a very up and down half. Going into the third, it was imperative for the Kings to keep the momentum and add onto the lead they managed to capture in the second.
However, the Kings weren’t able to do that. They came out in the second half much like the performed in the first quarter. They gave up their second 31-point quarter and only managed to score 21 points, a near carbon copy of the first quarter, but the Kings weren’t done yet.
The Kings managed to retake the lead in the fourth with 3:21 remaining on a Willie-Cauley Stein free throw. Unfortunately, they lost steam after an encouraging run. They missed a couple of key shots while the Wizards made some key shots and that proved the difference in the game.
When it was all said and done, the Kings gave up six too many points in the early quarters and fell to the Wizards 121-115. Notable scoring performances were De’Aaron Fox with 23 points for the Kings and Bradley Beal with 27 points for the Wizards. This game ended the way so many Kings games have ended lately. The Kings were close but were unable to finish the game in the final minutes.
Kings head coach Dave Joerger summed it up perfectly in postgame, “This game sucks, this one hurts.” Indeed, this game hurt the Kings’ playoff chances as they fall 4.5 games back of the Clippers and Spurs with 16 games left.
Close but no cigar for the Kings:
FG PCT: Kings 45.1%, Wizards 46.5%
3PT PCT: Kings 33.3%, Wizards 37.8%
REB: Kings 47, Wizards 47
AST: Kings 28, Wizards 29
TO: Kings 16, Wizards 17
BLK: Kings 3, Wizards 1
Kings fans will be locked in Monday evening to the Clippers vs. Celtics matchup on NBA TV. The Kings desperately need the Clippers to lose to keep the deficit to four games behind the eight seed in the Western Conference.
The Kings travel to Boston to take on the Boston Celtics on Thursday afternoon at 4:30 PM PST.