Notebook: Wizards 96, Hornets 87



Posted Mar 15, 2013 11:40 PM

Carla Peay, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: John Wall turned in a stellar performance with a season-high 29 points and nine assists on 12-of-15 from the floor as the Washington Wizards overcame a hot start by the New Orleans Hornets, who then faded in the second half, for a 96-87 on Friday night at Verizon Center.

The Hornets (22-44) shot a blistering 60 percent in the first quarter, but cooled off considerably thanks to some solid defensive play by the Wizards (22-42). With the score tied at 50 at halftime, the Wizards pulled away in the second half thanks to Wall's hot shooting and the solid play of the bench. Trevor Booker led both teams with 13 rebounds and Trevor Ariza had eight. Five Wizards players scored in double figures, including Wall's 29, Martell Webster with 18, and Garrett Temple with 10. Cartier Martin and Kevin Seraphin each came off the bench for 10.

Webster, who was 4-of-11 from 3-point range, become the first player in Bullets-Wizards franchise history to connect on four three-pointers in four consecutive games.

The Hornets were led by Eric Gordon with 20 points and University of Maryland product Greivis Vasquez, who scored 18. Rookie Anthony Davis was an efficient 4-of-8 from the floor for 16 points. The Wizards shot 45 percent from three-point range (9 of 20), while the Hornets shot just 15 percent (3 of 19).

QUOTABLE: "There's a good way to miss a shot and there's a bad way. His misses have been really good misses."
-- Wizards coach Randy Wittman on Wall's shot selection and his consistency over the past week.

THE STAT: The Wizards are undefeated this season, 9-0, when they shoot at least 50 percent from the floor.

QUOTABLE II: "I just got into a good rhythm. The last couple of games I've been feeling pretty good and able to knock down my shot. You make your first couple, you get in a rhythm and you get confidence."
-- Wall

HOT: Wall shot 100 percent from3-point range, connecting on 3 of 3 in Friday night's victory over the Hornets. Wall has scored at least 20 points in his last three games.

NOT: Former Wizards guard Roger Mason Jr. played nearly 15 minutes, but attempted just two shots and missed both. Mason finished with just two rebounds and no assists.

GOOD MOVE: With another game to play on Saturday night, Wittman kept Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely on the bench during the game. Both players have been in and out of the lineup, but are capable of coming off the bench and giving some effort and hustle if needed. With Wittman needing Booker to stretch the floor in order to guard Hornets forward Ryan Anderson on the perimeter, and with Booker admitting to being just a bit banged up, he may need some rest when the Wizards play the Suns on Saturday.

QUOTABLE III: "I think this is the way we've envisioned ourselves playing and wanting to play. We're only as good as our bench , and when your bench comes in and plays great basketball, we piggy back off that."
-- Webster

NOTABLE: Asked about the need for Wall to maintain consistency shooting the ball, Wittman made analogies to Hall of Famer Larry Bird and golfer Jim Furyk. Wittman said that Bird didn't have a picture perfect shot, but shot the ball the same way every time. As for Furyk, Wittman said he has the ugliest golf swing in America, but it's the same swing over and over. Wall, Wittman said, has to make the same shot -- he can't take two different shots.

UP NEXT: For the Wizards, Saturday vs. Suns, Monday vs. Bobcats, Wednesday vs. Suns. For the Hornets, Sunday vs. Timberwolves, Monday vs. Warriors, Wednesday vs. Celtics.