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  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    DeMarcus Cousins makes his way around Washington center Emeka Okafor. The Kings center had 21 points and 16 rebounds.

  • HECTOR AMEZCUA / hamezcua@sacbee.com

    Tyreke Evans charges into Washington's Bradley Beal. The Kings guard had 21 points and made the decisive free throw.

Kings get away with one against Wizards

Published: Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 - 5:05 pm

Tyreke Evans had reason to be nervous.

He'd missed the second of two free throws – badly. The second attempt was so far off it looked as if he tried to miss it on purpose.

"It slipped," Evans said. "As it left my hand I knew I was going to miss it, so I just tried to get the rebound."

He didn't, and that left the Washington Wizards with the ball and down by one point with 10.4 seconds to play. But Bradley Beal and John Wall missed shots in the final 2.9 seconds, and the Kings escaped with a 95-94 win Wednesday night at Sleep Train Arena.

It was the Kings' second win in a row and ended a three-game winning streak for the Wizards. The Kings overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half, their biggest of the season.

With the score tied, Evans was fouled by Washington center Nene with 11.4 seconds to play. He made the first attempt.

"I was a little mad, but it happens," Evans said of missing the second free throw. "As long as I made one to give us a chance to win the game, I'm happy with that."

The Kings trailed most of the second half. Evans' free throw gave the Kings their first lead since they were ahead 44-43 with 5:12 left in the second quarter.

A three-point play by DeMarcus Cousins made it 91-91 with 1:48 to play, but Washington's Martell Webster countered with a three-pointer with 1:27 to go.

Cousins then found John Salmons for a three-pointer with 1:13 to play.

That Evans was in position to give the Kings the lead with a free throw had a lot to do with Wall missing two free throws with 30.4 seconds to go.

Wall stole the ball from Cousins and was fouled by Jimmer Fredette before missing both free throws.

"I was upset, but I knew we were getting the ball back, so I just tried to get the ball back," Wall said. "They missed one and made one, so we still had a chance to win the game."

No one was more surprised by Wall's misses than Cousins, who was Wall's teammate for a season at Kentucky.

"J. Wall thrives for moments like that," Cousins said. "But I'll give him the benefit of the doubt since he's just coming back (from a knee injury).

"We'll probably never see that again, but I am happy he missed."

The Kings were able to prevail despite trailing 66-55 with 5:50 left in the third because Fredette played most of the second half (21 minutes), as did Salmons, Cousins and Evans. Evans and Salmons didn't come out in the second half, while Cousins sat for only 1:28. Chuck Hayes (18 minutes) was the only other Kings player to see significant court time in the second half.

"I took a helluva chance with that group on the floor," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "And I was going lose the game with them, and I'm glad it worked out."

The Kings (15-24) had three players score at least 20 points for the second time this season.

Evans had 21 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Cousins had 21 points, a game-high 16 rebounds and five assists. Salmons had 21 points, and Fredette had 12 points, all in the second half.

Beal led the Wizards (7-29) with a career-high 26 points. He made six three-pointers, a rookie record for the Wizards.

The Kings scored a season-high 62 points in the paint.

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Read more articles by Jason Jones



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