Fox scores 31 as Kings hold off Beal, Wizards 133-126

NBA Basketball
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP)De’Aaron Fox scored 31 points and the Sacramento Kings held on after blowing a 28-point lead to beat the Washington Wizards 133-126 on Tuesday night.

Bogdan Bogdanovic finished with 21 points, Buddy Hield scored 17 and Cory Joseph added 14 as the Kings had seven players in double figures on a wild night when they won despite being held to 19 points in the third quarter.

“The first half was probably one of the best halves we’ve played this year,” said assistant Igor Kokoskov, who took over coaching the Kings after Luke Walton was ejected in the third quarter. “Offensively we had ball movement, body movement, we played unselfishly. We came too soft in the third quarter, we lost the momentum, but we also have to be proud of the guys … to fight back, get momentum back and find a way to win.”

Bradley Beal had 35 points for Washington. Rui Hachimura added 20 points and Davis Bertans scored 18 on six 3-pointers.

The Kings have won six of seven since the All-Star break but had to sweat this one out.

Washington trailed by 27 at halftime and appeared headed for the wrong end of a lopsided blowout early before turning things around with a 46-point third quarter after scoring 49 in the first half.

Beal had 12 points as part of a 34-8 run during a seven-minute stretch that helped the Wizards tie the game heading into the fourth.

Sacramento was ahead by 10 with a minute left when Beal made a 3-pointer and the Kings’ Nemanja Bjelica was called for a flagrant 1 foul after hammering Hachimura under the basket. Hachimura made one of two free throws, and Thomas Bryant’s 3-pointer made it 130-126.

Bogdanovic followed with three free throws to seal it for Sacramento.

“In the position that we’re in, the only thing that matters is getting the win, no matter what it looks like,” Fox said. “We did a pretty good job of closing the game. The third quarter was just bad for us all around. The other three quarters I think we played pretty well.”

The Wizards have lost five of seven. They went into the day four games out of eighth place in the East.

“In the first half, we just played like we weren’t there. In the second half, the coach lit a fire up under us and we came out to be the team we should have been the whole game,” Beal said. “I think we got the message for sure.”

Fox got off to a fast start while Alex Len provided a big boost on the interior. Sacramento’s 7-footer had a pair of dunks and scored on a tip-in, helping the Kings to an 18-point lead in the first quarter.

Two days earlier Sacramento fell behind by 17 in the first quarter then rallied to beat Detroit.

Hield had four 3s in the first half, including one that ended in a four-point play, as the Kings pushed the lead to 76-49.

Walton had to be physically restrained after being ejected after being hit with back-to-back technical fouls during the Wizards’ big run in the third. Walton appeared to be upset over a non-call on the other end of the floor and angrily stormed onto the court after Bryant scored.

TIP-INS

Wizards: Beal extended his streak of 25 points or more to 19 consecutive games, tying Houston’s James Harden for the longest in the NBA this season. Beal’s streak going into the night was already the third-longest by an Eastern Conference player since 2000-01.

Kings: Sacramento’s 76 points in the first half were a season high.

FAN RUSHES WIZARDS BENCH

A fan had to be restrained and taken away by police after appearing to run on the court near the Wizards bench, according to an official with NBA security. It was the second incident near Washington’s bench. Just before halftime two fans got into a verbal altercation with Beal’s wife and were also escorted out

UP NEXT

Wizards: Head to Portland to play the Trail Blazers on Wednesday. Portland won in Washington on Jan. 3.

Kings: Play the 76ers at Golden 1 Center on Thursday. Sacramento has won its last three home games against Philadelphia but lost to the 76ers on the road in November.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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