Wall, Wizards assert themselves against Fox, Kings
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — John Wall and the Washington Wizards have far bigger matters to pursue this season than an in-season schooling of a rookie whose expected to have much better days and a rout of a team expected to finish at the bottom of the standings.
Nevertheless, their 110-83 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday at the Golden 1 Center was impressive.
“That,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said, “was our best game at both ends of the court.”
Not surprisingly, Washington’s most dynamic player fueled the result. Wall, an eighth-year rookie out of Kentucky, finished with 19 points and nine assists in 26 minutes. He soundly outplayed De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento’s rookie point guard out of Kentucky.
Wall produced 11 points in the opening quarter. He scored or assisted on every point as Washington bolted to a 13-0 lead and never looked back.
The game never was competitive after that. Washington made 17 of its 34 3-point attempts.
“We were aggressive off the dribble,” Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. “We took full advantage of making the extra pass and getting open shots. Then we were able to knock them down.”
Wall knocked down 7 of his 12 shots, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range, an especially important development for Washington (4-2). Wall made just 37 percent of his shots from the field in the Wizards’ first five games, and he was extra cold (4 of 21) from beyond the arc.
“I’m just glad I made the first shot,” Wall said. “I haven’t been shooting well so far this season. It was good to see the ball going in.”
Beal, who was fined $50,000 but avoided a suspension after grabbing Golden State forward Draymond Green around the neck in Washington’s loss to the Warriors on Friday. scored 15 points for Washington. Otto Porter added 16. Mike Scott scored 13, and Washington finished a four-game Western trip with two victories.
Fox, the fifth overall pick in the June draft, is averaging 12.7 points and 5.0 assists in his first six games with Sacramento. However, he struggled in his first contest against Wall, scoring only two points on 1-for-8 shooting and committing four turnovers to go with his five assists.
Fox was 1-for-7 in the first half with two assists and two turnovers as Washington built a 63-32 lead.
“Tough night, tough start,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “We’ve got to be better at being ready to play at each position.”
Guard Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings with 15 points, and Frank Mason III added 11. Skal Labissiere scored 10 points, and Malachi Richardson also scored 10 points off the bench for Sacramento (1-5).
One game after producing 40 points in their highest-scoring first quarter since November 2015, the Kings scored only 16 in the opening 12 minutes against Washington. Sacramento didn’t reach the 40-point barrier until 4 1/2 minutes into the third quarter, then trailed 88-60 by the end of three quarters.
“We missed a lot of shots,” Labissiere said. “We shot some good shots, missed a lot, and games like that happen every once in a while. We’re just gonna have to move on from it.”
NOTES: The Wizards’ scuffle with the Warriors on Friday resulted in one-game suspensions for F Markieff Morris and G Carrick Felix for leaving the bench after Washington G Bradley Beal tussled with Golden State F Draymond Green in the second quarter. The league also fined Wizards F Kelly Oubre Jr. $15,000 for aggressively leaving the bench. ... G De’Aaron Fox was the first Kings rookie to record at least five assists in three of his first five games since Tyus Edney in 1995-96. ... Beal and Wizards G John Wall are in their sixth season as a starting tandem, matching Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (Golden State), Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan (Toronto), and Tony Parker and Danny Green (San Antonio) for the NBA’s longest current run. ... Kings F Zach Randolph and G George Hill sat out in a planned rest day. F Skal Labissiere started for Randolph and played 22 minutes, and G Frank Mason played in 21 minutes in Hill’s absence.