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Wizards 113, Kings 97

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WASHINGTON — Guard John Wall had 31 points and outdueled his former University of Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins as the Washington Wizards rallied from a 21-point deficit in the second half for a 113-97 win over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.

Wall had 20 points and 10 of his 12 assists in the second half for the Wizards (38-28), who outscored the Kings 67-33 in the second half. Forward Paul Pierce scored 17 points and swingman Rasual Butler added 14. Washington has won three straight games and five of seven after losing six straight and 11 of 13.

Cousins led the Kings (22-43) with 30 points, but the center went scoreless in the fourth quarter before fouling out as Sacramento blew a double-digit halftime lead for the second straight night. The Kings have lost seven of nine and finished 2-6 on their eight-game road trip.

Washington last won three straight games Jan. 5-9.

Sacramento outscored Washington 39-25 in the second quarter and shot 60 percent from the field in the first half as Cousins had 21 points. The Kings led 69-48 one minute into the third quarter.

Everything went the Wizards’ way from there before the 12th sellout crowd of the season.

Pierce had 12 points in the third quarter as Washington outscored Sacramento 38-21.

Down 85-84 entering the final period, the Wizards took their first lead at 89-88 on Ramon Sessions’ 3-pointer with 10:11 remaining. That started a decisive 23-4 run during which Cousins was hit with a technical before fouling out.

Wall made 4 of 5 3-pointers and the Wizards finished 13 of 26.

Forward Derrick Williams and guard Ray McCallum each scored 15 points for the Kings. Sacramento committed 11 of its 17 turnovers in the second half.

The Kings tallied 42 points in the second quarter and led by 13 points at halftime at the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night before losing 114-107.

The Wizards played without three regular members of their rotation, including starting forward Nene (personal reasons), and against a former teammate for the first time.

Washington traded guard Andre Miller to Sacramento for Ramon Sessions before last month’s NBA trade deadline. Miller sparked Sacramento’s offense with seven assists in 10 minutes in the first half. The Wizards only had six assists before halftime.

NOTES: Washington F Kris Humphries missed his eighth straight game because of a groin injury. G Garrett Temple (right hamstring strain) sat out for a second consecutive game. … Wizards G Bradley Beal and Kings G Ben McLemore were AAU teammates in St. Louis. … The Wizards celebrated Polish Heritage night, as C Marcin Gortat is the NBA’s only Polish player. … The Wizards visit Sacramento on March 22. … The Kings face the Atlanta Hawks on Monday in their first home game since March 1. … Washington faces the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday in its third of seven straight games against Western Conference opponents.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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