Wizards overcome Kemba’s 47 points in 130-126 win over Hornets

Just when you think you have this team all figured out, the Wizards turns in one of their best performances of the season with a 130-126 victory over the Charlotte Hornets Saturday evening. Seven Wizards players scored in double-figures led by Trevor Ariza with 24 points and a near triple-double with nine assists and seven rebounds.

This game had a somber feel from the start. After the news broke that John Wall would miss the remainder of the season to undergo surgery on his heel, no one knew what to expect from the Wizards tonight.

The Wizards looked stuck in the mud early and fell in a quick 15-7 hole. Things changed when Sam Dekker and Troy Brown Jr. checked in for Washington. The duo provided energy off the bench that the team desperately needed as they were able to claw back in this one and trailed by just two, 29-27 after one quarter.

Washington kicked it into gear in the second quarter as they were able to get a lot of quality shots in the paint. The Wizards didn’t get too many transition opportunities but were able to exploit mismatches for easy buckets around the rim. Washington scored 40 points on a blistering 72 percent from the field in the second quarter to take a six-point lead into halftime.

Kemba Walker, who was outstanding in the first half (17 points) cranked things up a notch in the second half. He single-handedly carried the scoring load for Charlotte in the third quarter to make it a one-possession game heading into the fourth quarter.

There were multiple instances where it looked like Washington might pull away in this one. An 8-0 run highlighted by three-pointers from Tomas Satoransky and Trevor Ariza put the Wizards up 111-105 early midway through the quarter. But Walker wouldn’t let the Hornets go down without a fight. He scored 10 straight points for Charlotte but they still trailed 125-119 with 23 seconds left — and that’s when things got chaotic.

Charlotte got a quick layup after the Wizards were unable to inbound the ball successfully. Seconds later, Satoransky was fouled but missed both free throws. Walker took the rebound and raced the other way for a layup to cut the lead to two. After Bradley Beal made a pair of free throws from Beal, Walker countered with a three to trim the lead down to one, but Jeff Green’slong pass to Trevor Ariza for a layup and foul sealed the deal as Washington escaped with the 130-126 victory.

Takeaways

Everybody Eats

In John Wall’s first game out since the announcement that he would miss the remainder of the season to surgically repair his heel, the next logical question was, ‘who would step up?’ Tonight, everyone did.

Only eight Wizards players saw playing time and seven of the eight cracked double-figures in scoring. On top of that, the ball was zipping side to side, guys were cutting through the lane, and there were very few stagnant possessions for a Wizards team that combined for 35 assists on 48 made baskets.

Now, ‘Everyone Eats’ isn’t just about ball movement and assists — it includes making the hustle plays too. Thomas Bryant was a menace on the offensive glass and Washington won the 50/50 balls like this one that led to extra scoring opportunities.

This game was a very pleasant surprise, however, we’ll have to wait and see if they can sustain this once the team settles into a new normal.

There’s a new big 3 in town (for a half)

Please raise your hand if you thought the trio of Troy Brown Jr., Sam Dekker, and Chasson Randle would be key contributors in this one.

The trio was outstanding in the first half. As mentioned, the Wizards were very sluggish to start this one and it was Dekker and Brown’s energy off the Washington bench that injected a jolt in this team. Dekker was sprinting the floor and moving well without the ball, resulting in some very easy buckets all in the painted area.

After receiving a DNP-CD just the night before, Brown Jr. got playing time in the first quarter and made the most of it. Like Dekker, it was the hustle and energy plays that provided a spark for this team, and knocking down a 3-pointer helped as well.

Chasson Randle knocked down a nice step back three-pointer in the first half to give Washington the lead and was the recipient of some nice tic-tac-toe passing for this transition basket.

The trio combined for a near-perfect 11-of-12 from the field and scored 29 of the Wizards 67 first-half points.

Brooks goes with an 8-man rotation

After getting heavily criticized for playing Ron Baker and Ian Mahinmi extended minutes, neither of those guys saw the floor tonight as Brooks opted to go with a short bench where only eight guys saw playing time. Brown Jr. received all of Baker’s minutes tonight (17) and Thomas Bryant played 35 minutes, the most he’s played in a non-overtime game this season.

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Hornets at Wizards final score: Third time isn’t a charm as the Wizards fall to the Hornets for the third time this year, 122-105

The Hornets have the Wizards number this year.

The third time isn’t a charm as the Wizards get blown out by the Hornets Friday night 122-105, losing to Charlotte for the third time this season. Bradley Beal scored a game-high 33 points and Otto Porter added 16 but it wouldn’t be enough for a Washington team that found itself in a double-digit hole for most of the contest.

After a big win in Cleveland just the night before, this one had ‘trap game’ written all over it. Washington came out sluggish on defense and careless with the basketball committing six turnovers in the opening period while also giving up 36 points to a Charlotte team who struggles to score on the road.

Bradley Beal stole an inbounds pass with just one second remaining in the half and knocked down a three-pointer as time expired to trim the deficit to 12 at halftime 67-55 as the Wizards showed signs of life.

The Wizards were able to cut the lead to six, 75-69 in the third quarter on the heels of a 9-0 run. But Charlotte answered Washington’s counterpunch as the Hornets lead quickly ballooned back to double figures and they wouldn’t look back.

Turnovers doom Washington

After committing just 10 turnovers against the Cavs a night before, Washington eclipsed that number by halftime tonight with 11 turnovers and 14 for the game. Too many lazy cross-court passes ended up with live ball turnovers and easy transition opportunities for the Hornets.

Charlotte made Washington pay for their mistakes as they scored 26 points off Washington’s 11 first-half turnovers. Those lazy live ball passes resulted in easy layups at the rim for the Hornets as well as wide open three-pointers in transition.

Washington did clean up their act in the second half as they committed just three turnovers after halftime, but the damage had already been done.

Washington’s defense was awful tonight

Chalk it up to tired legs, a hangover from the Cleveland game, or whatever narrative you want to paint; Washington’s defense was downright awful this evening. Charlotte, a team that hung 77 points on the Wizards in the first half the last time the last time they played, weren’t far off tonight as they had 67 points tonight at halftime.

The Wizards weren’t communicating on defense evidenced as players got caught in-between switches and defensive rotations. Washington did a poor job defending the three-point line and Charlotte made them pay knocking down 17 three-pointers this evening on 39 attempts (44 percent).

The Wizards were a step slow on the defensive end the entire evening and just like the previous contest, the result was a blowout loss against another sub .500 team.

Tip Ins

  • Washington continues to knock down their free-throws connecting on 16-17 attempts from the charity stripe tonight
  • Outside of Kelly Oubre who had 11 points, the Wizards got next to nothing in production off the bench
  • After being held scoreless for nearly the entire first half, Kemba Walker caught fire scoring a team-high 24 points for Charlotte

Up Next: Washington’s hell week begins on Sunday evening with a home date against the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers.

Wizards vs. Hornets final score: Washington run off the floor in 133-109 loss to Charlotte

The Wizards added another embarrassing loss to their collection this season as they fell to the Hornets 133-109 on Wednesday night.

Seven Charlotte players scored in double-figures led by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with 21 points as the Hornets came out on fire to put the Wizards away early in this one.

Bradley Beal was one of the few bright spots for the Wizards as he scored 26 points (20 in the first half), but also coughed the ball up five times. Mike Scott and Kelly Oubre also played well, scoring 18 and 16 points respectively as they played heavy minutes while Markieff Morris was mired in foul trouble most of the night.

To put it nicely, this was a less than ideal way to start a five-game road trip.

Takeaways

An ugly first half defensively sets the tone for the rest of the game

What if I told you the Wizards would shoot 54 percent from the field, 8-of-10 from three-point range, John Wall would have eight assists, and Bradley Beal would score 20 points all in one half? There’s no way Washington could be losing, right?

Well not only were they losing at halftime, but they borderline getting blown out as the Hornets knocked down 65 percent of their field goals and scorched the nets for a franchise-record 77 points in the first half as they led by 16 at halftime.

Scott Brooks has said it many times that with this team, it all comes down to getting stops defensively. The Wizards did not get the message early on as the Hornets connected on their first 10 field goal attempts and put Washington in an early hole.

A lot has to go right to drop 77 points in a half, but luckily for the Hornets, they were up against a Wizards team who gave up too many easy points in the paint and behind the arc to keep things competitive.

Washington wastes an outstanding three-point shooting night

It’s a shame the Wizards got run off the court because they had one of their best nights shooting the long ball. The Wizards ended the night 13-of-23 from three-point range, and that was after it was skewed by some poor shooting in garbage time. They were 11-of-18 late in the third quarter when Brooks yanked the starters and waved the white flag.

Bradley Beal was stroking it from distance, as he knocked down his first four three-pointers of the game, all from the left wing. John Wall started the second half 2-of-2 from three-point range, his only two of the game while Mike Scott and Kelly Oubre combined to go 4-of-5 (before garbage time) while the game was still in reach.

Game Notes

  • Charlotte scored 77 first-half points, a franchise record.
  • Michael Jordan was not sitting courtside to watch this debacle.
  • Michael Carter-Williams and Jason Smith got tangled up in garbage time of the fourth quarter. Michael Carter-Williams and Tim Frazier were ejected for their extracurricular activities.

After the ejections, the Wizards chose Dwight Howard to shoot the free throws for Charlotte. As you’d probably expect, Howard (who is shooting 52 percent from the line this season) made both.

Next up: The Wizards are off to Detroit to face the Pistons on Friday at 8 p.m. ET.

Hornets at Wizards Final Score: Wizards ride a hot third quarter to beat the Hornets, 118-111

John Wall logged his 50th double-double of the season with 23 points, 13 assists, and six steals as the Wizards snap their three-game losing streak and beat the Hornets, 118-111. Bradley Beal added 19 points for Washington while Jason Smith scored 17 including a career-high, five made three-pointers.

This one didn’t start out great for the Wizards. Otto missed his first four shots of the game and Gortat missed his first jumper as the Wizards started just 1-7 from the field and found themselves in an early hole. With Washington down 22-14, the starters exiting the game. The bench came right in and picked things up highlighted by Jennings getting out in transition to find Bogdanovic for a wide open three. However, Washington trailed 24-22 after one.

The bench carried that good play over to the second quarter and started the period on an 8-0 run to regain the lead, 32-30. But then Kemba Walker caught fire. Walker did it all for Charlotte as the All-Star scored 17 points in the quarter to stretch the Hornets halftime lead to 12, 63-51.

Scotty Brooks will want to bottle up his halftime speech from this game because the Wizards came out guns blazing to start the third quarter. Washington was able to use a 10-0 run to trim the lead to one, highlighted by this play where Wall raced out in transition to find a cutting Beal for the throw down slam.

Washington started the quarter 10-13 from the field and they’d outscore Charlotte 36-18 in the period as they regained control, 87-81.

Kelly Oubre made his mark on the game in the fourth quarter. After missing a wide open dunk, Oubre made up for it with two wide open threes. The Wizards led by as many as 13 in the fourth quarter but the Hornets had one last ditch effort. Frank Kaminsky hit two threes with under two minutes remaining to cut the Wizards lead to four, 108-104. But with 36.8 seconds remaining, Wall would find Otto in the corner for a three-pointer to seal the game as the Wizards win, 118-111.

Wizards get hot from three-point range

Washington shot 50 percent from three-point range tonight as they connected on 17-34 attempts. As mentioned, Jason Smith knocked down a career-high five three-pointers to help the Wizards win this one. John Wall and Kelly Oubre also added three three-pointers apiece for Washington as they were able to get clean looks from distance tonight.

Wizards get excellent production from the bench

Washington’s bench combined for 45 points tonight led by Jason Smith with 17 and Kelly Oubre with 15. Unlike during the five-game hot streak for Oubre, he did most of his damage tonight either from distance or in the mid-range. Smith led the Wizards with nine three-point attempts but knocked down an efficient, 55.6 percent of those.

The bench is peaking at the best time possible as this team enters the playoffs.

The Wizards can’t escape old ghosts

Washington’s defense wasn’t that great save for the third quarter where they outscored Charlotte 36-18. They were crushed on the boards in the first half but the lopsided third quarter evened things out that you won’t be able to catch in the box score.

Yes, the Wizards got the win. But once again, they let another team eclipse the 110+ mark.

Wizards vs. Hornets final score: Washington goes cold in 98-93 loss to Charlotte

The Wizards went ice-cold from the field, shooting just 37 percent from the field as they lost to the lowly Hornets, 98-93. John Wall and Bradley Bealonly combined for 37 points, shooting 11-30 from the field. Five Hornets players scored in double figures led by Cody Zeller with 19 as the Hornets won an ugly game in Charlotte.

From the start of this one, it looked like we might be in for another up and down affair. Bradley Beal and John Wall started the game by driving down the lane for open dunks while Charlotte was knocking down shots on the other end. Things slowed down midway through the quarter after Beal was sent to the bench with two fouls. Both teams would combine for just nine points the rest of the quarter as the Wizards took a 20-19 lead after one quarter.

The second quarter wasn’t much prettier. Things looked promising for Washington as Ian Mahinmi was able to score around the rim or get to the free-throw line. Brandon Jennings, who’s struggled to score, hit a circus shot with the shot clock winding down as the Wizards took a 29-21 lead. But Kemba Walker would come to life knocking down two three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to help the Hornets take a 35-34 lead.

John Wall came through with the highlight of the night on the next possession, as he pinned a Walker layup against the backboard on a fast break that the Wizards converted into a three-pointer on the other end.

The Wizards only shot 32 percent in the first half but led, 40-39 at halftime.

The third quarter wasn’t a whole lot better for the Wizards. Washington started the quarter just 4-11 from the field as Charlotte jumped out to an eight point lead. But in a game like this one, an eight point deficit felt more like a 20 point deficit. Thankfully, Bojan Bogdanovic, who was quiet for most of the first half, scored the final four points for the Wizards as they were able to trim the lead to 3, 64-61 by the end of the third quarter.

Frank Kaminsky picked a good time to get hot. After missing his first nine shots of the game, Kaminsky connected on four of his five shots in the fourth quarter to help the Hornets take a nine point lead midway through the fourth quarter. Otto Porter responded with timely shots to give Washington a chance late, but Bradley Beal’s step back three to tie the game with nine seconds left came up short.

With the loss, the Wizards are two games behind the Celtics as they prepare to meet on Monday night in Boston. They still hold a two game lead over the Raptors for the third seed.

First half was hard on the eyes

For those of you who like offense, the first half of this game was not for you. Chalk it up to a combination of good defense from both squads and missed wide-open chances. Neither team was particularly effective from three-point range either as the Wizards shot just 25 percent from downtown and the Hornets shot 31 percent.

The John Wall wraparound defense put his teammates in tough situations

This was one of John Wall’s worst defensive games this season. Wall looked tired and uninterested in playing defense tonight against a small and speedy Kemba Walker. As a result, Wall would go over every screen and try his patented wrap around steal from behind. It worked the first time but that was it. Wall tried it again when playing defense in the post and once again, it didn’t work.

Not only did it not work, the defense was left scrambling to rotate and find their man and it resulted in easy baskets for the Hornets on multiple occasions.

The opposing center has another big night

Last night, Robin Lopez had a career night. Tonight, it was Cody Zeller’s turn to stuff the stat sheet. Zeller ended the night with 19 points and 5 rebounds as he dominated both Gortat and Mahinmi. Zeller got going early with dunks around the rim and was a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end with four steals and two blocks. As we know, Gortat is in the midst of a slump and the Wizards are still looking to get Mahinmi into midseason form, but for now, the center position is a hole in the Wizards defense.

Wall, Wizards a buzzkill as Washington drops Charlotte, 109-99.

John Wall led the way with 24 points and seven assists as the Wizards buzz past the Hornets, 109-99. Markieff Morris added 23 points and eight rebounds while Bradley Beal finally got his stroke back with 18 points and knocked down four three-pointers.

The Wizards got off to a hot start in this one hitting on seven of their first 13 shots. Unfortunately, they went cold (1-6) after that. John Wall did not disappoint in a matchup with Kemba Walker which always draws some “oohs” and “ahs” as Wall hit his first five field goals of the game. Kelly Oubre jammed home a breakaway dunk with just .2 seconds remaining as the Wizards led 30-22 after one.

After giving up the lead, the bench continued to battle back. Trey Burke knocked down two jumpers for the Wizards as they led by nine when the starters were reinserted. Washington finished the half off strong on an 8-2 run to take a 60-48 lead into halftime.

After going 1-20 from three-point range over the past three games, Beal found his stroke in the third quarter as he connected on three three-pointers. This time, the Hornets were the beneficiaries of an 8-0 run to end the quarter as the Wizards were up just 6, 80-74 after three.

Once again, the Wizards torched the nets going 8-10 from the field to start the fourth quarter highlighted by this tic-tac-toe pass from Wall to Oubre to Porter for a wide open three.

The Wizards stretched this lead out to 17 at one point but were a little sloppy down the stretch. The Hornets never got closer than eight as the Wizards closed this one out 109-99 and get a much-needed road win.

Beal finds his stroke

After going through one of the worst three-point shooting stretches of his career, Beal looked to have found a rhythm tonight. Beal hit a three-pointer early in the second quarter and you could feel the weight being lifted off of his shoulders. Beal had a hot shooting quarter in the third, as he knocked down three more three-pointers ending the night 4-9 from range. Hopefully, this will be the remedy Beal needed as big games against Boston and Atlanta loom.

Hot starts to the first and fourth quarters

The Wizards started the first quarter 7-13 from the field and 8-10 from the field to start the fourth quarter. That enabled them to gain the lead early and stretch it out late when Charlotte made their inevitable run. The Wizards haven’t been the best team at starting quarters strongly but tonight was different. The hot fourth quarter start was much ado to the bench play of Burke, Smith, and Oubre who combined for 22 points tonight.

Morris and Porter provide an extra spark

Morris and Porter combined for 37 points and 21 rebounds tonight. It was Porter knocking down threes and grabbing rebounds early on while Morris was the one hitting big shots down the stretch. The duo combined to hit four three-pointers and Morris knocked down all five of his free-throw attempts.

Wall flirts with a quadruple-double as Wiz top the Hornets, 109-106

Six Wizards players scored in double figures led by John Wall with 25 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, and 7 steals. Bradley Beal chipped in with 20 points, 18 of which coming in the second half as the Wizards hang on for a much-needed win against the Hornets, 109-106.

Like we’ve become accustomed to, the Wizards fell behind early in this one due to the hot shooting from the Hornets who knocked down 10 of their first 14 shots. With Markieff Morris out due to a foot injury, Jason Smith was the first player off of the Wizards bench and he contributed right away. Smith knocked down several mid-range jumpers and was in the right place at the right time as the Wizards used a 7-0 to cut the Hornets lead to 2, 43-41, midway through the second quarter.

Nicholas Batum would hit a tough three-pointer followed by a close-in jumper as the Hornets had a 54-49 advantage at halftime.

After a 10-0 run by the Hornets in the third quarter, the Wizards flipped the script with a 10- run of their own led by opportunistic defense leading to easy buckets on the other end for the home squad. Wall poked the ball away on the defensive end leading to an Otto Porter layup as Wall is now the leading steal-man in Wizards franchise history.

The Wizards outscored the Hornets 38-23 to take a 87-77 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Hornets would sting back. Marco Belinelli tried to force his way into the Wizards Killer club with three three-pointers in the fourth quarter to keep the Hornets in this game. Things got testy with Wall and Belinelli as Wall went up for a layup, thought he got fouled, only to give Belinelli his piece of mind resulting in a technical.

John Wall would hit two elbow jumpers down the stretch to close this game out as the Wizards hang on and win, 109-106.

John Wall turns in a terrific performance

As mentioned, Wall finished the night with 25 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, and 7 steals tonight, anointing him as the Wizard with the most steals in franchise history. It’s easy sometimes to take Wall for granted as he’s often left alone on an island but nights like these remind you how special of a player he is. Wall has yet to notch a triple-double this season, but don’t worry, it’s on its way.

Bradley Beal starts off cold but ends strong

Bradley Beal started off ice cold missing his first six shots as he scored just two points in the first half. Beal flipped the script in the second half with 18 points, 11 of which coming in the third quarter and was a major part of the Wizards big run. Even with a cold first half, Beal was cool and collective in the second half and didn’t force shots. The three ball started to fall for him (3/7) and he hit several key mid-range jumpers down the stretch for this team. After a 0/6 start, Beal went 6/10 the rest of the way. Nice to see him bounce back.

Start the Kelly Oubre hype train

Kelly Oubre scored 12 points to go along with 7 rebounds in his starter role tonight. As mentioned, Morris sat out tonight’s game due to a foot injury so we saw the “lineup of death” right from the get-go. To no surprise, Oubre looks way more confident playing alongside the starters as he’s reaped the benefits of the John Wall effect. He took some gambles on defense again tonight but they paid off (2 steals) and resulted in easy baskets for the Wizards. I don’t think Oubre should be inserted as a starter if Morris is healthy, however, he’s become a much-needed spark for this team.