Johnson: Wizards need career night from Young

Johnson: Wizards need career night from Young
January 12, 2011, 3:18 am
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011 10:19 p.m.


By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comWashington---Closing games is still a problem for the Wizards. Every one of Nick Youngs career high 43 points was needed to overcome 10 fourth quarter turnovers in a 136-133 overtime win against the Sacramento Kings.You know what happens so much when you are trying to squeeze out a win, guys get so anxious, and sometimes you just have to slow down, said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. I have always said that in our league when you look at great players, they look like they are playing in slow motion. The end of regulation was almost beyond belief even for a Wizards team that has had a flair for the dramatic. Six of the Wizards fourth quarter turnovers happened in the final 2:42 of regulation and in the final 1:10 of regulation the Wizards managed to lose an 8-point lead.Indeed when John Wall hit an 18-foot jump shot to give the Wizards a 117-109 edge, many fans started to head for the exits. They left too soon. In the final minute of regulation the Kings scored six points off three Wizards turnovers and were helped by a four-point play from Francisco Garcia after he was fouled on a three-point field goal.The Kings come back was given more hope when Young only made one of two free throws with 7.6 seconds left on the clock. Only down 126-124, the Kings did not need to shoot from the outside, but instead tied the game and forced overtime on a Pooh Jeter layup with 3.6 seconds left.The Wizards had trouble with Jeter and fellow guard Beno Udirh. In 21 minutes Jeter had a game-high 11 assists and Udrih was one of the Kings leading scorers with 26 points on 10 of 13 shooting from the field. Garcia also had 26 points including 7 points in the fourth quarter and all 7 of the Kings points in overtime.In overtime the game was in the balance until the final buzzer. Kirk Hinrich scored six of his 14 points in the extra session and Young added a three-pointer, but again the door was left open for the Kings when Al Thornton only made one of two free throws with three seconds left.In the scramble for the rebound on the Thornton miss the ball went off JaVale McGee and the Kings were given the ball 2.1 seconds on the clock. Down 136-133 the Kings needed a three-pointer. After a time out to advance the ball, the Wizards did a good job of denying the Kings a quality option and center DaMarcus Cousins missed a three-point attempt from the corner.There were wild swings both ways, said Kings coach Paul Westphal. It was a very unusual game, like an old fashioned shoot out. It came right down to the last possession. We are doing better with turnovers and execution, as well as making shots. We did a great job with rebounding tonight, but the fact is they got to the line a lot more than us.The Kings only had 12 turnovers, but the Wizards effort was helped by a plus-13 advantage in made free throws. Led by Wall, who was a perfect 10 of 10 from the line, the Wizards made 33 of 39 free throws. Wall finished with 22 points and 9 assists but had to leave overtime early after developing leg cramps.Andray Blatche did not play any of the overtime after he suffered a sprained right shoulder in the final minute of regulation. Blatche was part of the Wizards triple-play of double-doubles in the front court. Blatche had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Rashard Lewis had 16 points and 10 rebounds and McGee had 10 points and 11 rebounds.In short the game was a wild ride. In the first quarter the Wizards outscored the Kings 38-19. In the second quarter the Kings outscored the Wizards 37-16. In the third quarter the Wizards scored a season-high 40 points to the Kings 27 points. In the fourth quarter the Kings had a 43-32 advantage.