Wizards fall victim to their own success

Wizards fall victim to their own success
January 28, 2013, 11:30 pm
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#Wizardstalk: Wiz drop heartbreaker to Kings

Winners of five straight home games the Wizards fell victim to their own success in Monday’s 96-94 loss to the Sacramento Kings. After a first half that saw them shoot 56 percent from the field Washington resorted to old habits in the second half. Over the third and fourth quarters they had 12 turnovers compared to just eight assists.

“We fell victim to doing too much individually,” said Wizards coach Randy Wittman after his team scored just 37 points in the second half. “Whenever we have more turnovers than assists, that means we’re trying to do too much on an individual basis. I thought we fell victim to that in the second half.”

Despite their lack luster performance this was still a very winnable game for the Wizards. After trailing for most of the game Sacramento enjoyed a 14-3 fourth quarter run taking a five-point lead. But the Wizards fought back; down two with fewer than 15 seconds left Martell Webster responded with a tough short jumper tying the game at 94 with 7.9 seconds left. But it was all for not as Isaiah Thomas sunk a floater with one second remaining. At 5’9” Thomas came up plenty big in the second half where he scored 14 of his team high 22 points.

“We didn’t have anybody that could guard him,” said Wittman. “That was disappointing, especially as the game went on. He got anywhere he wanted to. Right, left, and the kid made the play at the end.”

This was the Wizards second heart breaking defeat at the hands of Sacramento. Earlier this month they fell to the Kings 95-94 in Sacramento. A month ago the Wizards would’ve been happy that they had a chance to win this game down the stretch. But coming into Monday they’d won six of nine and now they expect to win these tight games.

“We know we’re in a situation where we can win these games,” said John Wall who scored 19 points and six assists. “We have the talent to do it, we just didn’t execute. Had a couple of mis-directions and turnovers down the stretch and just didn’t get the defensive stops that we needed.”

The loss ended the Wizards five game home winning streak. On Wednesday they’ll open up a three game road trip against the 76ers. Washington went 2-3 on their last road trip and has been competitive in every game since Wall’s return to the line up.

In the loss Emeka Okafor chipped in a season high 23 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. Meanwhile, Webster has done his best to prevent Trevor Ariza from taking his spot in the starting line up. He’s reached double figures in points in seven of his last 10 games and feels the Wizards have to keep their poise and not get hung up on one loss.

“We let them get us out of control and we can’t allow that to happen. We’ve just got to learn from it. We’ve got to make up for it in Philadelphia and I am very confident that we will.”