Thomas, the former UW star, had 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and also had seven assists

Share story

WASHINGTON — With the score tied and a few seconds to play, the hottest player on the court faced off against a defender who had been riding the bench all game.

It was no contest.

Isaiah Thomas took the inbounds pass and sized up Garrett Temple before driving to the middle of the lane to put in a left-handed floater with one second remaining, giving the Sacramento Kings a 96-94 win over the Washington Wizards on Monday.

“I seen a guy that was guarding me that hasn’t played the whole game, so I felt I had the opportunity to take him,” Thomas, a former UW star, said with a smile. “And he kind of forced me to my strong hand, so I just wanted to make a play and it happened to go in.”

This week, save 90% on digital access.

Thomas had 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and also had seven assists as the Kings broke a four-game losing streak. Francisco Garcia added 17 points for Sacramento in a game that included 16 ties and no lead bigger than seven points.

At the end, there was little doubt that Thomas would take the last shot. The message from coach Keith Smart: Don’t settle for a jumper.

“You’re going to get by his guy or get a foul. Or you can make a quick play,” Smart said. “I thought he did the right thing by driving the basket and getting his little floater. All that drill work he does every day, and that little floater gave us a big win.”

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.