WASHINGTON – Nick Young scored a career-high 43 points, and Kirk Hinrich had six in overtime as the Washington Wizards survived a last-minute regulation meltdown to beat the Sacramento Kings 136-133 Tuesday night.
The Wizards blew a six-point lead in the final 14 seconds of the fourth quarter — and nearly blew a five-point lead in the final half-minute of overtime — and finished the game without starters John Wall and Andray Blatche before finally earning a split against a fellow last-place team from across the country.
Young went 14 for 22 from the field, including 7 for 10 from 3-point range for the Wizards, who are 10-8 at home but 0-18 on the road. Six Washington players scored in double figures in the team's highest-scoring output of the season, with Blatche tallying 16 points and 13 rebounds and Wall finishing with 22 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
Blatche sprained his right shoulder wrestling for the ball and walked to the locker room in the final minute of regulation and is day-to-day. Wall came down with cramps while trying to drive past former Kentucky roommate DeMarcus Cousins with 2:49 left in overtime and did not return.
Beno Udrih and Francisco Garcia scored 26 points apiece — a season high for Garcia — and Carl Landry had a season-high 23 for the Kings, who have lost 11 straight on the road and six in a row at the Verizon Center.
Sacramento played again without leading scorer Tyreke Evans, who remains sidelined with a sprained left ankle. Cousins had a pair of powerful dunks but finished with only 10 points and eight rebounds, and picked up one of his team's three technical fouls.
The reunion of No. 1 overall pick Wall and No. 5 Cousins was expected to be one of the few interesting spectacles in a matchup of two of the NBA's worst teams, whose 17-52 combined record entering the game is miles from the success the two rookies enjoyed in their lone collegiate season with the Wildcats. Wall missed the Wizards' loss at Sacramento last month because of an injury.
Kentucky blue was very evident among the members of the D.C. chapter of University of Kentucky alumni association, whose presence — along with the fans cheering for the Kings' Omri Casspi on Jewish Heritage Night — added some life to what could have been a midweek snoozer.
It turned out not to be because of Young, and because the Wizards couldn't seem to put away the game.
They led 125-119 after Wall made two free throws with 24 seconds to play in regulation, but Jermaine Taylor's layup cut the lead to four with 13 to go. Then Udrih made a steal of the inbounds pass and diverted the ball to Garcia, who made the layup and added a free throw for a three-point play.
After Young made one of two free throws for the Wizards with 7.6 seconds to play, the Kings tied it when Pooh Jeter drove past Wall for an easy layup with 3.6 remaining. Wall then missed a shot at the horn that would have won it.
Then the Wizards led 135-130 in overtime after Hinrich's jumper with 27 seconds left, but Garcia was fouled attempting a 3-pointer and made the three free throws to cut Washington's lead to two with 25 seconds remaining. Hinrich committed a turnover while surrounded by a double team, giving the Kings a chance to win or tie, but Hinrich got his hand on a pass under the basket to force a Sacramento turnover with 5 seconds to go.
Al Thornton made one of two free throws to give the Wizards a three-point lead with 3 seconds left — giving the Kings one more chance to tie. Cousins took the 3-pointer at the buzzer from the left wing, but it wasn't close.
Notes: The first half ran the gamut. The Wizards routed the Kings in the first quarter, shooting 71 percent and leading by as many as 20, and the Kings returned the favor in the second quarter with runs of 12-0 and 8-0 to take a 56-54 lead at the break. ... The Wizards' 38 first-quarter points matched their best from any quarter this season, then they surpassed it by scoring 40 in the third. ... Wizards F Rashard Lewis got the 1,000th career steal. ... The Wizards remain without F-G Josh Howard, expected to miss at least another week or so with a sore left knee.