WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards puts up a shot in front of Ray McCallum #3 of the Sacramento Kings during the second half of the Wizards 113-97 win at Verizon Center on March 14, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr
AP Photo
March 14, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) Washington Wizards coach Randy Wittman felt a little guilty about his halftime approach Saturday night.

Whatever it was, it worked.

John Wall tied his season high with 31 points and added 12 assists, Paul Pierce scored 17 points, and the Wizards rallied from a 21-point, third-quarter deficit to beat the Sacramento Kings 113-97.

''I told them, I've got to go to church tomorrow because of some of the things I said and thought at halftime,'' Wittman said of his response after watching his team badly outplayed for 24 minutes and trail by 64-46.

The Wizards got the message, especially Wall, who collected 20 points and 10 assists after halftime.

''In the first half there wasn't really an effort, and they basically did whatever they wanted and got whatever they wanted,'' Wall said. ''We had to come back out and compete in the second half.''

The Wizards shot 61 percent from the field in the second half, and finished 13 of 26 from 3-point range.

Reserve Rasual Butler and Bradley Beal scored 14 points apiece for the Wizards, who have won three straight and five of seven.

Ramon Sessions' 3-pointer gave Washington its first lead of the night, 89-88 with 10:11 left. Butler scored five straight to make it 94-88 and Wall's 3-pointer eventually capped a 16-0 run.

The Kings' DeMarcus Cousins had 30 points before fouling out with 5:34 left and watching Wall, his Kentucky teammate, close out the win.

''We want to beat one another, we want to be able to go back later on in the summer and talk trash about it,'' Cousins said. ''He had an incredible performance. He came out and led his team in the second half.''

The Kings, playing the second of a back-to-back, finished 2-6 on their eight-game road trip.

''Maybe we got a little tired,'' Kings coach George Karl said. ''Our defense was a step slow, a second behind, whatever you want to say, but we were very ordinary at both ends of the court probably.''

Both teams were without starting forwards. Rudy Gay (left patellar tendon strain) sat for Sacramento and Washington's Nene (personal reasons) missed his second straight.

Wall, who had 15 points in the third quarter, and Pierce (12) sparked a 19-2 run that pulled them within 79-77 with 2:45 left in the quarter. Wall's 3-pointer cut the Kings' lead to 85-84 after three.

TIP-INS:

Kings: Derrick Williams and Ray McCallum each scored 15 points. . Gay is averaging 27.8 points over his last five games. ... It was the 10th time this season Cousins has fouled out.

Wizards: It was Wall's 34th double-double. ... Washington hadn't won three straight since Jan. 5-9. . The Wizards were also without F Kris Humphries (strained left groin) and G Garrett Temple (right hamstring strain).

MILLER RETURNS

Kings guard Andre Miller had two points and seven assists as he returned to Washington for the first time since a Feb. 19 trade sent him to Sacramento for Sessions. ''I guess I got the bad of the stick for,'' said Miller. ''For a guy who only played 10 minutes a game, you figure why would I be the one who got moved, but I try not to individualize it. I try to look it at as the team kind of hit stretch where we struggled a little bit.''

WALL TAKES BLAME

Wall took the blame for Washington's poor play in February. ''I think it all started with me,'' he said. ''I didn't have no legs or the energy after the All-Star break. And the way I play (is) the way this team goes. I'm kind of the leader of it.''

UP NEXT:

Kings: Host Atlanta on Monday.

Wizards: Host Portland on Monday.

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