The smallest player on the court made the biggest difference for the Sacramento Kings Monday night.
It was Isaiah Thomas' silky-smooth game-winning floater that was the difference against the Washington Wizards. He drove hard to the left, stopped just below the free-throw line and shot confidently with his left hand, all while Garrett Temple was doing everything he could to stop the shot. For someone who wants the ball in his hands when it matters, this was the perfect situation for Thomas, who nailed the shot.
The 5'9" point guard was the best Kings player tonight, no question about it. His 22 points and seven assists both led the team and his 9-for-16 shooting from the floor didn't hurt either.
Sacramento needed someone to take control if it wanted to halt a four-game losing streak. And that's exactly what happened.
With the troubled DeMarcus Cousins having a relatively quiet night (12 points and four rebounds) and Francisco Garcia draining four of his six three-point attempts, this was a good win on the road. It was even better considering the Kings were blown out by 28 points two nights ago in Denver.
In order for the Kings to get better, performances like this need to happen with more regularity. They can't keep allowing 103.4 points per game, which is dead last in the NBA. If a defensive effort like this shows up, the wins will come.
Then they would just have to figure out how to get the offense going. Tyreke Evans needs to find the form he enjoyed during his rookie year. Cousins has to get his head sorted out and just focus on his profession: basketball.
This team is stacked with young talent. That's the good news. The bad news is that the young talent needs to grow up and learn. Simple as that.
Now on to the next one. The Kings' next game is Wednesday in Boston against a weakened Celtics team without Rajon Rondo.