Fox, Sabonis power new-look Kings past Wizards 123-110
WASHINGTON (AP) — De’Aaron Fox scored 26 points, Domantas Sabonis added 16 points and 11 rebounds in his second game with Sacramento, and the new-look Kings beat the Washington Wizards 123-110 on Saturday night.
Harrison Barnes added 21 points for the Kings, who acquired six players this week before Thursday’s trade deadline. In their first game with all six available, Sacramento shot a season-best 56.6% (43 of 76) from the floor.
“I think we all agree the team looks completely different,” Fox said of the new arrivals. “They came in with great energy and that’s pretty much all it’s been.”
Maurice Harkless added 17 points and Justin Holiday had 12 in his second game since joining Sabonis in a trade that sent both from Indiana to Sacramento.
The Kings won their second straight and fourth out of six.
“These were games that we were losing early on and all the way up until this week really,” said Sacramento coach Alvin Gentry, whose team trailed by 13 in the second quarter and six at the half. “I hope this is a sign of good things to come.”
Kyle Kuzma scored 22 points and Corey Kispert added 20 in the Wizards’ first game since trading for Kristaps Porzingis on Thursday in a deal that sent Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans to Dallas. Porzingis (right knee) did not play.
Thomas Bryant and Rui Hachimura each added 13 points in Washington’s ninth loss in 11 games, and first since announcing Thursday that three-time All-Star Bradley Beal would have season-ending wrist surgery.
Already ahead in the fourth, the Kings put the game away with a late 16-4 run.
Richaun Holmes’ uncontested leaner put the Kings up by double figures for the first time with 7:59 to play. Fox hit baskets on Sacramento’s next three possessions, Holiday sank a 3-pointer from the left wing and Barnes made two foul shots to stretch it to 116-98.
“We’ve got to do a better job defensively,” said Kuzma, whose team tied a season high field goal percentage allowed. “They get up and down in transition, and then also they can play through Sabonis in the half court. But we’ve just got to tighten the screws up on that end.”
WAITING FOR KRISTAPS
Porzingis has been sidelined with a right-knee bone bruise since Jan. 30. The timing of the former All-Star’s Washington debut is uncertain, Wizards coach Wes Unseld, Jr. said before the game.
“He’s just day to day. He’s still dealing with some of residual effects,” Unseld said. “Nothing serious. Hopefully it will calm down a bit and we can mix him in the next three games after tonight. But there’s no rush and really no timetable.”
THE DOMANTAS DIFFERENCE
Gentry attributed much of his team’s offensive efficiency Saturday — including 50 points in the paint and 27 assisted baskets — to Sabonis’ arrival.
“I think we’re cutting much better now,” Gentry said. “I think playing through (Domantas) has been good, because I think he’s a very good passer and our guys understand that. I think the cuts have been much more definitive.”
Kings: G Donte DiVincenzo made his Sacramento debut off the bench after being acquired as part of a four-team trade on Thursday. … F Josh Jackson and F Trey Lyles were available but did not play after arriving from Milwaukee in the same trade.
Wizards: Unseld said it’s possible C Daniel Gafford could clear the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols as early as late Saturday evening. … G Ish Smith made his first Wizards appearance since he was acquired Thursday in a trade with Charlotte. Smith also played the previous two seasons in Washington. … G Raul Neto received a technical with 5:17 left in the third quarter.
Kings: Visit Brooklyn on Monday night.
Wizards: Close their homestand Monday night against Detroit.
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