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Strong 2nd quarter propels Wizards past Kings

Dec 23, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings power forward Domantas Sabonis (10) drives in against Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford (21) during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Kuzma totaled a game-high 32 points and the road-weary Washington Wizards saved their best for last on a six-game trip, erupting for 40 second-quarter points en route to a 125-111 road win over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

Bradley Beal chipped in with 24 points, Rui Hachimura had 21 off the bench and Kristaps Porzingis returned from an illness to snatch a team-high 13 rebounds, helping the Wizards salvage a 2-4 trip after having lost the first three.

Domantas Sabonis posted a 20-point, 15-rebound, 10-assist triple-double for the Kings, who have opened a six-game homestand with two losses in three outings.

Playing for the second consecutive night at the end of their 10-day trip, the Wizards watched as the hosts bolted out of the gate with 10 of the game’s first 13 points.

But Washington steadied itself by period’s end, grabbing a 28-27 lead, before seven different guys got into the scoring act in a 40-23 second-quarter flurry that broke the game open. Kuzma had nine of his 32 points in the period, while Hachimura contributed two 3-pointers among eight points.

Coming off an impressive 14-point home win over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Kings never made much of a game of it in the second half.

Kuzma’s 30-point game was his fourth of the season. He shot 14-for-23 and also found time for nine rebounds, a team-high-tying five assists and two steals.

Kuzma and Beal combined to make 24 of their 39 shots, helping the visitors scorch the nets to the tune of 55.7 percent shooting. The Kings checked in at 44.0 percent.

Monte Morris matched Kuzma’s assist total while also adding 16 points and three steals to the cause. Porzingis had seven points and two blocks to go with his 13 boards.

Sabonis’ triple-double was his second in a row and third of the season. He’s had 15 or more rebounds in four of his last five games.

De’Aaron Fox led the Kings with 26 points, while Kevin Huerter and Trey Lyles went for 14 apiece and Harrison Barnes 11.

–Field Level Media