The Sacramento Kings' five-game homestand has been anything but easy. The Kings lost their first three games at Sleep Train Arena before beating the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.
The schedule wouldn't get any softer on Wednesday night, hosting a seven-win Washington Wizards team that's riding a three-game winning streak since the return of John Wall.
The Kings led by one point after both teams traded baskets, but the Wizards took control with a 13-4 run to end the half with a 56-48 lead. Down 11 points midway through the third quarter, Jimmer Fredette helped spark an 11-4 run to bring the Kings back into striking distance.
It was a dogfight down the stretch as the Kings battled to back to tie the game at 91. Martell Webster's three-pointer broke the tie for Washington, only for John Salmons to answer back with his own three-pointer.
Fouled with only 11.4 seconds left in the game, Tyreke Evans split a pair of free throws to give the Kings a one-point lead. Off Wizards rookie Bradley Beal's missed shot, Wall grabbed the offensive rebound to attempt the game-winning shot.
The Wizards' winning streak came to an end as Wall's shot was off and the Kings escaped with a 95-94 victory.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 21 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and three steals and Evans had 21 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and three steals. Salmons also scored 21 points each and Fredette had 12 points off the bench, all in the second half.
Beal scored a career-high 26 points with six three-pointers and Wall had 14 points and 10 assists off the bench. Nene added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards.
Coach Keith Smart knew from the start that the Kings would have to fight to win against Washington:
"I told our group this morning this was going to be a tough game to — a tough game to try to win. They came through ... Searched through the bench a little bit and found a couple guys to make some plays and I thought our fourth quarter defense was really, really good."
After struggling since the month started, Fredette looks like he's been back on track for the past two games:
"Last couple games been really good for me, just continuing to play well trying to give us a spark whenever I get in there and get a chance to play."
The Kings will play the next 9-of-11 games on the road, starting with a three-game road trip. They'll play the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday at 5 p.m. PST.