Hornets Face Wizards Again, Look to End Home Slide
By Sam Perley
A win tonight would help salvage a tough three-game homestand for the Charlotte Hornets as they kick off a back-to-back set against the Washington Wizards beginning at 7 p.m. ET at Spectrum Center.
The home team is 2-0 in the season series so far with the Hornets winning the most recent meeting, 123-110, back on Feb. 22. Charlotte weathered a season-high 46-point showing from two-time All-Star guard Bradley Beal and outscored the visiting Wizards, 96-72 over the final three quarters of play.
Kemba Walker finished this particular outing with team highs in both scoring (27 points) and assists (then season-high 11) to go along with another five rebounds. Walker also exploded for 47 points in Washington back on Dec. 29 and since the All-Star Break, is averaging his typical 25.7 PPG, 7.1 APG and 1.6 SPG over seven total outings.
Walker look to break out of his recent shooting slump (10-of-38 from the field last 2 GP) against the defensive-minded Tomáš Satoranský, a lengthy combo guard from the Czech Republic. Satoranský has taken on more responsibility with John Wall lost for the season and is putting up 12.8 PPG, 6.5 APG and 1.5 SPG, while shooting 55.6 percent from the field in his past six games.
Washington has won three of its last four outings and sits seventh in the NBA in offensive rating since the All-Star Break (113.8). The Wizards’ trade deadline acquisitions of Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker look to have helped take their scoring to a new level, meaning the Hornets will need to put together a staunch defensive effort in order to grab a badly-needed home victory.
Game Note – Washington owns the NBA’s fifth-worst defensive rating since the All-Star Break (113.4)… The Hornets have won four consecutive home games against the Wizards… Washington is just 8-25 on the road this season… The Hornets have lost five straight games at home for the first time Dec. 6-16, 2017. They haven’t dropped six straight at home since the 2014-15 season.
Classic Fact – The Hornets grabbed the rights to Muggsy Bogues from the Washington Bullets with the sixth overall pick in the 1988 NBA Expansion Draft. Bogues finished his career in Charlotte as the franchise’s all-time leader in assists (5,557), steals (1,067), games started (501) and minutes played (19,768).