The Sacramento Kings have struggled with consistency all season and once it again it bit them in the backside in Washington D.C. on Monday night. Needing a win to guarantee a split on the trip, the Kings allowed Wizards big man Marcin Gortat to control the paint and the rest of the Wizards to launch from the perimeter with impunity. The result was another loss on the road, this time by a final score of 113-99.
Gortat dominated the battle of the bigs, finishing the night with 27 points and 16 rebounds against the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins tried to keep pace, but his 22-point, eight-rebound performance fell short.
Needing to slow John Wall down, George Karl turned to Darren Collison for much of the night. The move paid dividends on both ends of the floor. Collison and company held Wall to just 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting, but he fed his shooters and ended up with a career-high 19 assists.
On the offensive end, Collison dropped in 13 points and dished out eight assists. Rudy Gay added 16 points and seven rebounds, while Marco Belinelli chipped in 15 in the loss.
Washington torched the Kings from long range, finishing the night 14-of-24 from behind the arc. Garrett Temple hit 5-of-10 from 3-point land, finishing the night with 23 points starting for the injured Bradley Beal. Kris Humphries hit all three of his triples.
The Polish Hammer dropped the boom on the Kings. Gortat couldn’t miss, scoring 27 points on 12-for-19 from the field. Cousins looked sluggish all night and the Wizards’ center made him pay.
After rallying to tie the game to end the third, Sacramento came out flat in the fourth and the Wizards drilled them for an 8-0 run. The Kings never recovered and fell to 11-17 on the season.
Rajon Rondo went to the locker room in the early third quarter after rolling his right ankle. The veteran point guard returned to the game minutes later after having his ankle retaped. Big men Willie Cauley-Stein (index finger) and Eric Moreland (left foot) are both out indefinitely.
The Kings finish their four-game trip against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night before taking a three day break for the holidays.