Wall scores 21, Gortat adds 18 as Wizards beat Kings 110-92
WASHINGTON (AP) — Wizards point guard John Wall isn’t known for his 3-point shooting.
Don’t tell that to the Sacramento Kings.
Wall had 21 points and nine assists, Marcin Gortat scored 18 and Washington beat Sacramento 110-92 on Monday night for its third straight win.
Wall shot 8 of 9 from the field, including 4 for 4 from 3-point range. In two games against the Kings, he has 40 points and is 9 for 10 from long distance. In his other 10 games, he is 5 for 32.
“I think I’m taking the same exact shots,” Wall said. “I’m just making them against them for some reason. Everybody else I be, clank.”
Otto Porter Jr. and reserve Mike Scott chipped in 15 points apiece as six Wizards scored in double figures.
After losing to the Mavericks 113-99 in the opener of a four-game homestand, the Wizards outscored the Lakers, Hawks and Kings by an average of 111-94.
“Intensity changed. We definitely locked in more defensively,” Gortat said of Washington’s turnaround after losing three straight home games overall.
“We really took it personally. We had teams like Phoenix and Dallas coming in here and punking us in front of our own crowd. It’s not nice. It’s definitely not nice. We all get a lot of fire from that.”
George Hill led Sacramento with 16 points, while Zach Randolph and Buddy Hield each had 12. The Kings have lost the first two games on their three-game road trip.
Washington led by six at halftime and hit its first five shots — two by Bradley Beal — in the third quarter to extend the lead to 70-56. The Wizards built the margin to 22 late in the period.
“We hung in there in the first half but in the second half they came out, they got in the paint, (and) we took a lot of jump shots,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “They ran out on us a lot in transition and kind of got away from us.”
The Wizards (8-5) shot 51.8 percent (44 of 85), while the Kings made 40.5 percent (34 of 84). The Kings were 12 of 23 (52.3 percent) from 3-point range.
“We had a lot of possessions where we didn’t communicate right or just didn’t get in the right spot at the right time,” Hill said after the Kings fell to 3-10.
Washington outrebounded Sacramento 50-34. The Wizards had 30 assists and just 12 turnovers, while the Kings turned it over only 10 times.
The Kings led 32-25 after one but the Wizards’ reserves, paced by Scott and Kelly Oubre Jr., went on a 15-2 run to start the second quarter.
Sacramento briefly regained the lead before Wall and the Wizards’ starters returned and mounted a 17-8 run, good for a 57-51 halftime lead.
Kings: Are 1-7 on the road. ... G/F Vince Carter (kidney stone) missed his third straight game. ... Randolph finished with nine rebounds. ... Six Kings scored in double figures.
Wizards: Beal added 14 points and Oubre had 12. ... Have won four straight vs. the Kings. ... C Ian Mahinmi had nine rebounds in 13 minutes. ... Washington made 11 of 12 free throws.
Hill had his best game since the opening week of the season, shooting 5 for 9 from the field — including 3 of 3 beyond the arc. Hill said he’s received advice from assistant coaches, teammates and family members along the lines of, ‘Look to score first, try to make passes second,’ and that’s what I was trying to do today.”
The Wizards’ reserve has logged more than 25 minutes in each of the past two games, scoring 15 points against the Kings and 10 on Saturday against the Hawks.
Kings: Finish a three-game road swing at Atlanta on Wednesday.
Wizards: Wednesday at the Miami Heat, who swept the four-game season series in 2016-17.
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