Graham Leads Hornets in 4th Quarter to Put Away Wizards
Bridges Hits Dagger 3-Pointer, Charlotte Wins 6th-Straight Home Game Against Washington
A solid start and strong finish helped the Charlotte Hornets withstand a pair of huge runs from the Washington Wizards as they closed out their five-game homestand with a 114-107 victory on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at Spectrum Center.
Devonte’ Graham paved the way once again with a team-high 29 points (6-of-11 from three), six assists and two steals in the win. Fourteen of Graham’s points came in the final 12 minutes (4-of-6 shooting, 2-of-2 from three), matching the highest quarterly scoring output by any Hornet player so far this season.
“Definitely a good feeling,” Graham said. “Just trying to lock in, make the right plays, right reads and take what the defense gives me. I just kept trying to get to the basket and make plays.”
Trailing 82-67 with about a minute left in the third quarter, Washington ripped off a 17-0 run (12 points alone coming from Dāvis Bertāns) to take a two-point lead at the 8:52 mark of the fourth. Charlotte stayed with it though, eventually pulling back out in front, 109-104, with 36 seconds remaining following a 14-5 run of its own.
After Bertāns hit another contested three at the other end to cut the deficit back to two, a driving PJ Washington found Miles Bridges wide open in the corner on Charlotte’s next offensive possession. Bridges then proceeded to calmly stroke a beautiful lefty three-pointer with seven seconds left to seal the victory.
“We could have hung our head, but we kept fighting,” said Coach Borrego after the game. “We kept executing offensively. We were still getting good shots on the other end, not turning it over, getting good looks, keeping poise. I think our guys did a great job executing, even through the storm. You’ve got to just weather it, get back, run good offense and I think we did that.”
Terry Rozier tallied 17 points, eight rebounds and a team-high seven assists and Bridges (16) and Washington (15) were right behind him in the scoring column. Bismack Biyombo (13 points and a season-high 15 rebounds) and fellow big man Cody Zeller (14 points and 10 rebounds) notched their second and fifth double-doubles of the season, respectively.
Bertāns finished with career-high totals in both scoring (32 points) and three-pointers (8) in 30 minutes off the bench. Rookie Rui Hachimura notched 18 points and 12 rebounds, Bradley Beal finished with just 16 points on 6-of-19 shooting and four turnovers and Ish Smith chipped in another 13 points for Washington.
Charlotte allowed a season-low tying 20 first-quarter points and a season-low 48 first-half points. The Hornets also had just 13 turnovers leading to 14 Washington points and knocked down 16-of-41 three-point attempts (39.0%) and 22-of-28 free-throw shots (78.6%).
The start of a three-game road trip and the second half of a back-to-back set gets underway tomorrow night, Wednesday, Dec. 11, when the Hornets battle the Brooklyn Nets starting at 7:30 PM EST. Watch the game on Fox Sports Southeast or listen on WFNZ 610 AM/102.5 FM or the Hornets app.