Thomas’ triple double lifts Kings to OT win
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — It certainly wasn’t an ideal way to start an important road trip.
The Washington Wizards squandered an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter and eventually lost in overtime to the lowly Sacramento Kings.
Isaiah Thomas had his first career triple double with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to help the Kings beat the Wizards 117-111 in overtime on Tuesday night.
DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay each added 24 points for the Kings, who rallied in the fourth to send the game into overtime and simply outplayed the Wizard in the extra period to snap a two-game losing streak.
Veteran center Marcin Gortat felt the Wizards let up late in regulation and it cost them a victory.
“We were up five points (with 24 seconds left) and celebrating like we had already won the game,” said Gortat, who had a physical battle all game with Cousins, the Kings highly aggressive young center. “We loosened up way too much. We got punished for being too cocky.”
It was a rare loss for the Wizards, who had won 10 of 13 games before falling to the Kings for the fourth straight time at Sleep Train Arena.
After being quiet through three quarters, it was Gay and Cousins delivering big time for the Kings in both the fourth period and overtime.
Cousins, who finished with 14 rebounds, had 12 points in the fourth quarter and opened the overtime with two quick baskets and finished with seven points in OT.
Gay made numerous clutch shots late in the game and continued that trend in the fourth quarter. He had 10 points in the fourth and six more in overtime.
“To turn it around, go up by 11 points and give the game away, it hurts,” said Drew Gooden, who scored 18 points in a reserve role. “They executed down the stretch and we couldn’t get any rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins is a load.”
Bradley Beal had 19 points and Gortat also had 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Wizards. They had won six of their previous seven road games. John Wall had 14 before fouling out in overtime.
The loss prevented Washington from moving within a game of Chicago, which has the fourth best record in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards (35-32) drop to sixth in the East, one percentage point behind Brooklyn (34-31).
“Give (Washington coach) Randy Wittman and that team a lot of credit. They are one of the surprising teams in the Eastern Conference and they are trying to get a home-court advantage in the first round,” Kings coach Michael Malone said.
Gay broke a tie with a jumper and Thomas made a pair of free throws to give Sacramento a 115-111 lead with 13 seconds left. Thomas clinched the victory with two free throws in the closing seconds.
Thomas, a 5-foot-9 guard who was a second-round draft pick three years ago, became the Kings starting point guard early this season and has responded by scoring 20 or more points 42 times this season. The triple-double was the first for Sacramento since Cousins had had one against New York on Dec. 28, 2012.
“That was big and it’s great for Isaiah,” Gay said. “I’m proud of him for the fact that he effected the game in every successful category today. Size doesn’t matter. He plays with fire.”
Trailing by five points in overtime, Ariza hit a 3, Wall converted on a fastbreak layup and Beal made a 3-pointer, giving Washington a 109-107 lead. But consecutive baskets by Cousins and Gay put the Kings ahead by two with 1:01 left.
Beal made both free throws to put the Wizards in front 100-95. But a Thomas’ three and a running shot along the baseline by Gay tied the game at 100 with 5.6 seconds remaining. Beal missed a jumper in the final seconds.
Washington started the fourth quarter with eight straight points to take an 81-70 lead. Cousins helped bring the Kings back, scoring eight consecutive points, the final two on a dunk that cut the Washington lead to 86-81 midway through the fourth.
NOTES: The Washington starters shot 5 of 20 in the opening quarter and the Wizards trailed 30-19. ... Prior the game, the Kings signed Royce White to a second 10-day contact. He was not activated for the game. White, who was drafted by Houston in 2012, has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and has never played an NBA game. ... Webster had a four-point play late in the third quarter. ... The Kings are 4-2 in overtime games this season, while the Wizards are 4-7.