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Wizards Keep Playoff Hopes Alive With Win Over Kings

@WashWizards via Twitter

NBA

Wizards keep playoff hopes alive with win over Kings

In an exciting back and forth game, the Washington Wizards outlasted the uptempo Sacramento Kings 121-115. Thanks to a incredible second half from Bradley Beal, the Wizards were able to hold on for the win. They remain in striking range of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. He scored 21 in the second half, including 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Wizards took control of the game.

Bobby Portis continued his strong play as a starter, as he notched his sixth double-double with the Wizards. He finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Fellow newcomer Jabari Parker provided a spark off the bench with 18 points, including 3 three-pointers. Tomas Satoransky also got in on the three-point barrage, connecting on 3 threes in the first half. All five Wizards starters scored in double figures, being led by Beal who finished with 27 points.

“We did not have a great first half,”said Wizards coach Scott Brooks,”The great players can take over in one quarter, and a lot of times they do it in the fourth quarter, like many times this year. He [Beal] was once again like many times this year, he has made big shots after big shots..and most importantly he played defense in the fourth quarter.”

Defense was a key factor

The Wizards did a good job containing the Kings leading scorer Buddy Hield, who was held to only 15 points. He came into the game almost averaging 21 points per game, and the Wizards focused on making him take tough shots. He finished shooting 6-21 from the field, making only one three-pointer the whole game. De’Aaron Fox continued his strong sophomore season, adding 23 points and 8 assists.

The game started out slow for the Kings as they missed 14 straight shots, from the field, to go down by eight in the first quarter. They responded with a big second quarter, scoring 40 points thanks to their uptempo style. The Wizards had to slow down the attack and answered with another great defensive quarter in the third. They held the Kings to 21 points in that quarter and retook the lead 90-81. Thanks to Beal’s fourth quarter, they were able to hold off the Kings to bring their record to 28-39.

Playoff Push

With only 15 games left, the Wizards must find a way to string together some wins to erase the 3.5 game deficit behind the Miami Heat — who sit in eighth in the East. Fortunately for them, they only play two teams above .500 in the next few weeks. They also play teams that sit in front of them like Charlotte and Miami. The Wizards may have to go with the current team the rest of the way. Center Dwight Howard is still recovering from back surgery and has not been cleared for contact in practice. With only a few games left, it may be in their best interest to shut him down for the rest of the season.

Up Next

The Wizards continue their home stand for the next three games. They will face the Orlando Magic on Thursday, then will play a back-to-back versus the Charlotte Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies. They finish the stand with a game versus the Utah Jazz, one of the few over .500 teams they will face.

 

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@WashWizards via Twitter

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