Thomas' shot ends Kings' skid, top Wizards 96-94


Thomas' shot ends Kings' skid, top Wizards 96-94

WASHINGTON (AP) Isaiah Thomas made a floater with a second to play, capping a seesaw finish as the Sacramento Kings broke a four-game losing streak with a 96-94 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday night.

Thomas dribbled down the clock after the Wizards tied the game on Martell Webster's short jumper with 7.9 seconds to play, then drove down the middle and put the ball in with a soft touch from 9 feet.

Thomas had 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and also had seven assists. Francisco Garcia scored 17 points for the Kings in a game that included 16 ties and 11 lead changes.

Emeka Okafor scored a season-high 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and John Wall had 19 points and six assists for the Wizards, whose home winning streak ended at five games. Still, Washington is 6-4 and has been competitive in every game since Wall's return from a knee injury.

The Kings, on the second game of a six-game road trip, had been plagued by turnovers during their losing streak - averaging 21 over their previous three games - but they committed only 11 against the Wizards.

Okafor's 11-foot jumper with 2:26 remaining tied the game at 88, and Thomas made 1 of 2 with 2:14 to go to put the Kings ahead by one and set up a game of back-and-forth leads.

Nene made a nice dish to Wall for a layup to put the Wizards back in front with 2:01 left, but Thomas' falling-down, high-arc floater with 1:10 on the clock restored the Kings' advantage.

Wall missed a layup that would have given the Wizards the lead, but Washington forced a shot clock violation at the other end. However, Nene got caught in no-man's land driving into the paint and committed a turnover, giving the Kings the ball with 25 seconds to go.

Evans broke the series of one-point leads by making a pair of free throws with 19.6 left to put Sacramento ahead 93-90. Wall's layup pulled the Wizards within one with 12.6 to go, and Evans made 1 of 2 free throws with 11.7 remaining to make the score 94-92.

Webster then tied the game, giving the Kings the chance to set up the winning shot for Thomas.

Win or lose, the Wizards have become a fast, versatile and quite entertaining team to watch, with Wall and Bradley Beal running the floor and Okafor and Nene complementing each other inside. Wall's first half highlight was a hesitation-acceleration layup that prompted the sound effects crew to play a siren - as if Wall had been cited for speeding.

Okafor was the go-to guy in the first quarter, with 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting. Garcia was on target in the second, making 4 of 5 3-pointers and scoring 15 points.

The Wizards led 57-53 at halftime, and not even a four-point play by Webster could open up much of a lead.

Notes: Kings F John Salmons played the entire first quarter, then left the game with a stomach virus and did not return. ... The Wizards' last six-game home winning streak came during the 2006-07 season, when they won 10 straight.


Follow Joseph White on Twitter:http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Wizards have big questions to answer coming out of All-Star break

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes and Chris Miller look ahead to the biggest questions the Wizards need to answer after the All-Star break. They also explain why Bradley Beal proved a lot in his first All-Star Game appearance.

They also unveiled a new segment involving guessing Wizards players based on their social media captions.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

Capitals place Taylor Chorney on waivers, which could signal something, or nothing

When the Capitals acquired defenseman Michal Kempny on Monday, that put the team at the maximum of 23 players on the roster including eight defenseman.

Another move seemed likely and the Caps made it on Tuesday by placing veteran blueliner Taylor Chorney on waivers.

Teams now will have 24 hours to potentially claim Chorney. Should he clear at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, it is expected that he will be sent to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. Whether he is claimed or sent to Hershey, his entire $800,000 cap hit will no longer count against the Capitals' salary.

One important thing to note, however, is that placing Chorney on waivers was not required in order for Washington to remain under the salary cap.

Having eight defensemen would mean scratching two every game — assuming the team does not dress seven and after that failed experiment in last year's playoffs, why would they — which means it would be a struggle to make sure everyone gets consistent playing time in the final weeks of the season.

Perhaps placing Chorney on waivers is the team trying to get him more playing time to keep him sharp in case the team suffers injuries on the blue line and he is called upon in the playoffs.

Or perhaps it could mean something else.


Chorney played on Feb. 15, but that was during the mentor's trip. Barry Trotz's policy for those trips is to get everyone in at least one of those two games. Before that, Chorney had not played since Jan. 2. It certainly seems like the team was comfortable with him being the designated No. 7 and was not all that concerned about getting him regular playing time before now.

When asked if the Kempny trade would mean any roster moves, Trotz said Monday that he was not sure and hinted that perhaps more moves could be coming from general manager Brian MacLellan. Moving Chorney's salary off the books does not clear much cap room, but it does clear some.

Perhaps MacLellan has another move up his sleeve before Monday's trade deadline.