NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 18th
(All times Eastern)
Washington Wizards (35-31) at Sacramento Kings (23-44), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Wizards will try to improve their playoff
positioning when they venture out west to open a four-game road trip Tuesday
against the Sacramento Kings.
The Wizards are slated to visit Portland, Los Angeles (Lakers) and Denver on
the upcoming swing and have an 18-15 road mark. They are 15-7 in the last 22
road games and averaging 102.8 points over that stretch.
Washington is coming off Saturday's 101-94 victory versus the Brooklyn Nets,
as John Wall pumped in 33 points on 10-of-15 shooting and Drew Gooden added 21
off the bench.
"Once I see a couple going in I feel like I can't miss," Gooden said. "Tonight
the ball was definitely on my side and it dropped for me tonight."
Bradley Beal scored 15 points for the Wizards, winners in 10 of the last 13
games. Beal is averaging 19.6 points in his last seven games.
The Wizards are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference, just 2 1/2 games
behind Toronto for the third spot and 1 1/2 games in back of Chicago. Brooklyn
is just a half-game behind the Wizards at No. 6.
Sacramento is back home after a seven-game, 12-day road trip and dropped a
104-102 decision at Minnesota on Sunday. Kevin Martin scored a game-high 31
points and Kevin Love added 26 to lead the T'Wolves.
DeMarcus Cousins did not play for the Kings because of a balky knee and is
questionable Tuesday. He has scored 20 or more points in six of his last eight
games played. Cousins has recorded a double-double in seven of the previous
Isaiah Thomas scored 27 points and Derrick Williams 26 to go along with 11
rebounds off the bench for the Kings, losers in two straight and eight of 11
games. The Kings went 2-5 on the road trip and averaged just 97.9 ppg on the
journey. They allowed 100.0 ppg on defense.
"Another tough road loss," said Sacramento head coach Mike Malone. "I was
really hoping we'd pull this one out. We gave ourselves a chance."
Rudy Gay scored 14 points in the loss. He is averaging 20.4 points since
coming over via trade with Toronto in December.
The Kings, who will also host San Antonio, Milwaukee and New York on the
upcoming homestand and have a 13-19 mark as the host, have turned the ball
over 16 or more times in eight of the last nine contests and opposing teams
are scoring 103.5 points against them.
Sacramento suffered a 93-84 loss in Washington on Feb. 9. Thomas scored 30
points in that one and Nene led the Wizards with 18 points. The Kings had won
the previous three meetings between the teams and are unbeaten in the past
three matchups in California's capital.
Washington is just 4-10 in the last 14 games at Sacramento.
03/18 10:24:15 ET