WASHINGTON — Marcus Thornton scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half, rookie Isaiah Thomas had 16 of his 18 after halftime, and the Sacramento Kings beat the Washington Wizards 115-107 Wednesday night in a nonstop points-fest that looked like an All-Star game preview — minus the All-Stars.
Tyreke Evans added 22 points — 20 in the first half — and DeMarcus Cousins had 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Kings, who broke a six-game losing streak and salvaged a win on the final game of their six-game road trip.
Thomas, making his fourth consecutive start, made 8 of his last 12 shots and has scored 78 points as a starter, tying Otis Birdsong (1977) for the most points scored by a Kings rookie in his first four starts.
Jordan Crawford scored a season-high 32 points, and John Wall had 21 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Wizards, who have lost four straight.
The Kings led 104-103 with 3:44 to play, but Thomas scored the next basket to start a game-ending 11-4 run as Sacramento matched its highest point total of the season.
Neither of these losing teams will have a player in the All-Star game in Orlando on Sunday — the only representatives will be former Kentucky teammates Cousins and Wall in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday — but that didn’t keep both sides from getting in the spirit of fast-paced runs with defense optional.
Players have been known to check out mentally in the final game before the All-Star vacation, and coaches Keith Smart and Randy Wittman said they addressed that very fact with their players before the game.
Sacramento’s Smart said: “I’ve been around it when I look in the tunnel and the limos are already there — ready to go to the next spot.”
Certainly, the game was played as if the limousines were not only waiting — but quickly running out of gas. There were few whistles as the teams went back and forth in summer-league style. The Wizards had 68 points at halftime, the most they’ve scored in any half this season.
Of course, the Kings usually play like this anyway — they allowed 110 points per game in the first five games of the road trip. There were 58 fast break points, 102 points in the paint, multiple alley-oops, a JaVale McGee goaltend that landed in the eighth row and runs of 11-0, 12-2 and 10-2 — not quite enough for either team to open a big lead.
Crawford hit a 3-pointer, then backed down Jimmer Fredette for a three-point play in the half. Thomas and Wall got double technicals for jawing at each other. Thornton and Thomas got hot in the second half, with Thomas’ bank shot giving the Kings at 102-101 lead with 5 minutes to play.
Notes: In this lockout-shortened season, both the Kings (11-22) and Wizards (7-26) hit the break exactly halfway through their 66-game respective schedules. Sacramento improved to 4-17 on the road; Washington fell to 4-13 at home. … The Wizards had won six in a row at home against the Kings. … Washington F Jan Vesely was not on the bench at the start of the game because of a stomach virus, but he played in the second half. … Sacramento F-G John Salmons missed his second straight game with a sore right hip.