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- After opening the season as a league-wide punchline, the Wizards are now punching back, sporting a 7-3 record over their last 10 games. With the Kings in town, Washington has a chance to avenge one of those defeats. The Wizards opened their recent five-game road trip at Sacramento on Jan. 16. Leading throughout, Washington never could deliver the knockout blow as John Wall missed two free throws and the potential game-winning shot in the final minute of a 95-94 loss. “We kind of dictated the pace and controlled the game for the most part and let it slip away at the end,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
- With relocation talk wafting in the air, the Kings have lost four straight games after winning three of four. Surrendering 111.5 points and 49.4 percent shooting certainly doesn’t help. Neither does turning the ball over “at an alarming rate,” so says head coach Keith Smart. During its last three defeats , Sacramento averaged 20.3per game. “Taking care of the basketball has not been on our side,” Smart said. Monday’s game in Washington is the second contest of a season-high six-game road trip.
- Emeka Okafor started the season averaging a career double-double, but without a single one during Washington’s first 24 games, his rebounding average slipped into single digits. Over the last 18 games, a much different story; including his 15 point-16 rebound effort in Saturday’s win over the Bulls, Okafor is averaging 10.1 points and 10.7 rebounds with nine double-doubles in that span.
- During the four-game losing streak, Kings guard Tyreke Evans is producing at least on the offensive end. The powerful guard is averaging 15.8 points in the span while shooting 57.8 from the field over the last two games. Against Washington earlier this month, Evans scored 21 points including the game-winning free throw.
– Ben Standig