In #SoWizards fashion, the Wizards blow a 19 point lead and lose to the Hornets, 108-104. I’ve been pretty quiet about Wittman’s coaching this season saying the players need to be held accountable but this one is on him. The substitutions tonight made absolutely no sense. Like… none.
The Wizards started off this game hot, particularly Dudley who was 4-5 in the first quarter with 10 points. Dudley was hitting threes and mid-range jumpers. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t score the rest of the game.
The game was tied at 25 after one and that’s when Otto Porter took over. Porter exploded for 17 points in the second quarter allowing the Wizards to take a commanding 19 point lead at one point, 55-36.
However, the Hornets would end the half strong and cut into the Wizards lead trailing by just 10, 58-48 at halftime.
The Wizards were awful in the 3rd quarter. Their 10 point lead disappeared at the snap of a finger. Charlotte opened the quarter on a 25-9 run and tied the game on a three-pointer from Nic Batum who made the shot and got fouled. The Hornets outscored the Wizards 30-17 and regained the lead 78-75 going into the fourth quarter.
The Hornets stretched the lead out to eight on a dunk from Frank Kaminsky. Beal and Wall answered with threes on the other end not allowing Charlotte to pull away. The Wizards used a key 7-0 run late in the quarter to retake the lead 96-95.
With the Hornets up 101-100, Jeremy Lin would hit a corner three, as the Charlotte would take a 104-100 lead with 30 seconds to play. Charlotte would hit their free throws down the stretch and win this one 108-104.
Bradley Beal is back to his normal self: Brad scored 22 points on 8-13 shooting in just 20 minutes of play. The team is clearly worried about his health, especially playing on the second half of a back-to-back so Beal was forced to come off the bench. Beal was aggressive, attacked the hole, and didn’t settle for long jumpers. He went 3-4 from three-point range as well as 3-4 from the charity stripe.
The substitutions tonight were awful: Let’s just skip ahead to the fourth quarter shall we? Keep in mind, Beal was hot in the first half yet didn’t see the floor until the start of the fourth quarter. Wittman opted to go with a lineup of Wall-Beal-Sessions-Porter-Gooden to start the quarter. What’s head scratching is that Wittman played Sessions for almost the entire fourth quarter over Dudley. Additionally, Gooden was in the game for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter. Gooden played well tonight but you do not keep him in over Gortat when you’re trying to win a game. Lastly, Kelly Oubre Jr. who’s been glued to the bench for the last five games was inserted and asked to guard Nic Batum for a couple of minutes. Nothing Wittman did in the fourth quarter made sense and this loss can be chalked up to those poor substitutions.