- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Last night at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif.

NUMBER

52 The Kings’ field-goal percentage.

KEY TO THE GAME

After the Wizards cut the Kings’ 14-point lead to 91-87 late in the fourth quarter, Sacramento outscored Washington 13-6 the rest of the way.

SEEN AND HEARD

BLAKE BACK SOON: It looks like the long wait on injured reserve is about to end for point guard Steve Blake.

Blake, who has been on the injured list since Dec. 8 with a strained left arch, could be activated in time for the team’s games against Minnesota and Charlotte on Sunday and Monday.

“Maybe he’ll be ready for the back-to-back after Christmas,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.

Blake, who began the season on the injured list after undergoing offseason foot surgery to remove bone chips in his right ankle, has appeared in just one game this season.

Teammate Etan Thomas is also nearing the end of his stay on the injured list. Thomas, a backup center, has been participating in practice, but he is still not fully recovered from his severely strained abdomen and his return might not come until Jan. 1.

“Etan we’re pushing a little bit more,” said Jordan. “He hasn’t done any live contact yet. He’s doing work in shoot-around and practice.”

WEBBER GOOD AS NEW: Some thought that Kings star forward Chris Webber would never come back and be a productive player after having major surgery on his left knee that forced him to miss most of last season.

But Webber, who is still having some problems his knee, is averaging 20.5 points, 9.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists, second only to point guard Mike Bibby.

John N. Mitchell

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