The Sacramento Kings and host Washington Wizards meet for the first time this season Wednesday night, with each team attempting to end a losing streak.
The Wizards have lost four in a row, while the Kings are trying to stem their recent setback streak at two. Sacramento dropped nine in a row before rebounding to win three of five bridging February and March, but their six-game road trip has started with losses at Atlanta and Charlotte.
Things were going well for the Kings against the Hornets on Monday, with Marvin Bagley III contributing 12 points to a 60-54 lead in the final three minutes of the first half. But Bagley then fractured his left hand and left the game for good, and Sacramento couldn’t hold on, getting outscored 19-6 at the finish to lose 122-116.
“We feel for him, but that’s what being part of a team is about,” Kings coach Luke Walton noted after the game. “We’ll be there for him, and we need to find a way to get some other players to step up and try and fill in for what he was doing for us.”
De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield did just that against the Hornets, scoring 29 and 23 points. Fox had 32 when Sacramento opened its trip with a 121-106 loss at Atlanta on Saturday.
Bagley, a Duke product making his annual return to the Southeast, had scored in double figures in 14 straight games, with four double-doubles. He missed both games against the Wizards last season, contests the Kings won by seven points apiece. Now he’s out an unspecified period of time.
Harrison Barnes, another Southeast college product (North Carolina), paved the way to a 113-106 win at Washington last November with 26 points, while Fox scored 31 in March while leading seven players in double figures, which Walton said is the kind of balance the club needs again with Bagley out.
After getting a night off to rest Saturday in the first game of a back-to-back pairing with Milwaukee, Bradley Beal poured in 37 points in Monday’s 133-122 loss.
“My whole body feels great,” Beal assured afterward. “I felt refreshed and rejuvenated tonight.”
Russell Westbrook booked a 23-point, 17-rebound double-double in the competitive effort against the Bucks, while Rui Hachimura chipped in with 22 points.
While the Kings lost a key player, the Wizards regained one when Davis Bertans returned from a calf injury to score nine points in nearly 24 minutes against the Bucks. However, the 3-point shooting specialist banged knees with a Milwaukee player during the game and ended the night with calf and knee issues.
Bertans is listed as questionable for the Sacramento game.
The Wizards have lost six of seven, with five of the games having been against Boston, the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia and the Bucks twice.
The Kings will see the heavyweight Celtics and 76ers in their next two games after leaving Washington.
–Field Level Media