Preview: Washington Wizards look for third straight win against the Sacramento Kings

Washington Wizards Troy Brown Jr Harrison Barnes (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
Washington Wizards Troy Brown Jr Harrison Barnes (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Washington Wizards will look to extend their win streak when the Sacramento Kings come to town on Sunday night.

Bradley Beal is playing at an unbelievable level, fueling the Washington Wizards to two-straight wins and a now 5-8 record on the season.

Can he and the Wizards make it three straight on Sunday night when the 6-8 Sacramento Kings come to town?

Man on Fire

The smart money says to take the home team in this matchup. Washington outweighs Sacramento in arguably the most important category: star power.

The brightest star is Beal. He is averaging a career-high 30.3 points and 7.1 assists per game and has scored 30 or more points in each of his last four games. In two of those games, Beal topped 40.

The Kings haven’t had an All-Star since DeMarcus Cousins back in 2017 (You may remember that he didn’t touch the floor in that game, as he was traded smack in the middle of it.)

And while they do have some promising young guys in De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley, both of them are currently sidelined with injury. Still, the Kings have won three of their last five, and are starting to figure out how to operate without their two top dogs.

But they haven’t figured it all out. Sacramento is coming off a 29-point loss to a Brooklyn Nets team without Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant.

It’ll be up to Beal and the Wizards to ensure the Kings walk out of the Capital One Arena with their second-straight loss.

Players to Watch

Keep an eye on the Kings’ shooting guard, Buddy Hield. If he catches the right mismatch, he’s guaranteed to let it fly from three. Hield is fifth in the NBA in three-point attempts and is averaging a career-high 9.4 three-point attempts per game this year. Fans wouldn’t be disappointed to see this turn into an old fashioned shootout between himself and Beal.

There’s also Harrison Barnes, an NBA champion and veteran forward who’s got the basketball IQ to expose the Wizards’ young core. Second-year forward Troy Brown Jr will be starting at small forward for Washington and may find his hands full with Barnes, who’s averaging 15 points and five rebounds.

For the Wizards, if you’re not watching Beal sink shots, look for Thomas Bryant to have a solid night. He’ll be matched up with veteran big man Dewayne Dedmon, who’s averaging just five points and four rebounds per game.

Bryant is coming off his best game of the season,  a 21-point, 11-rebound performance in the Wizards’ home win over the Charlotte Hornets. He’s now averaging 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game this season as the Wizards’ starting center.

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The Kings’ point guard depth is wounded, which may make way for a much needed Isaiah Thomas game. After putting up double-digit points in the previous six games, he scored just five against Charlotte on Friday. He’ll be matched up with Cory Joseph and Yogi Ferrell, neither of whom are known for their efforts on the defensive end.