NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, February 9th (All times Eastern)
Sacramento Kings (17-33) at Washington Wizards (24-25), 6 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - A homestand that began with promise has since become disappointing for the Washington Wizards.
After falling back below .500, the Wizards aim to rebound on Sunday night when they conclude a five-game stay at home versus the Sacramento Kings.
Washington knocked off Western Conference powerhouses in Oklahoma City and Portland to begin this stay at the Verizon Center, moving to 24-23 on the season. However, the Wizards have since dropped a double-overtime decision to San Antonio before losing a 115-113 contest to Cleveland on Friday.
John Wall paced a Wizards offense that shot 50.6 percent from the floor, but the Cavaliers responded by hitting on 51.9 percent of their shots to snap a six-game slide.
"We can get all caught up in .500 and I told you guys what that meant. Nothing," Wizards coach Randy Wittman admitted. "Good teams don't lose basketball games like this nine, 10, 11 times halfway through a season."
Wall notched a game-high 32 points to go with 10 assists and is averaging 23.8 points and 10.0 assists per contest over his last five games. Marcin Gortat added 19 points and eight rebounds, while Martell Webster connected on 6-of-10 from 3-point range en route to an 18-point night.
While the Wizards are concluding a stay at home, the Kings are in the midst of a four-game road trip that takes them to the All-Star break. Sacramento began the trek with a 99-89 setback to the Boston Celtics on Friday.
The loss snapped the Kings' two-game winning streak, which came on the heels of seven straight setbacks. Sacramento also lost for the fifth straight time on the road, falling to 6-17 as the visiting club on the season.
DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 31 points and 16 rebounds for his 18th double-double in his past 19 games played. He leads the club with 22.9 points and 11.7 rebounds per game and shouldered the blame for the loss to Boston.
"It was tough, lot of mistakes tonight," said Cousins. "I don't think I came in focused tonight either. I blame myself for tonight's loss."
Isaiah Thomas scored 24 points as the Kings came in shorthanded to the absences of starters Rudy Gay and Marcus Thornton. Gay sat out the game due to the flu and is day-to-day as is Thornton because of a hip ailment.
Cousins, Thomas and Gay are all averaging over 20 points per game, with Gay notching 23.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in the last five he has played.
The Kings and Wizards are meeting for the first of two matchups this season. Sacramento won both encounters a season ago and have won three straight and four of the last five clashes overall.
02/09 10:21:11 ET