Wizards Rally in 4th Quarter, Charlotte Seals 10th Seed with Loss
Offense Struggles Again Late, Hornets Now Head to Indiana for Play-In’s 9-vs-10 Matchup
For the second consecutive day, the Charlotte Hornets put themselves in prime position to pick up a key victory and just couldn’t seal the deal, leading to a tough 115-110 road loss against the Washington Wizards on Sunday afternoon.
Terry Rozier came up just shy of his second career triple-double, finishing with 22 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and three steals in the loss. LaMelo Ball (15), Miles Bridges (17), Jalen McDaniels (13) and PJ Washington (11) then made it all five Hornets starters in double figures.
Charlotte built an early double-digit lead after winning the opening quarter, 36-22, but Washington eventually battled back to get within three by the 4:56 mark of the third. The Hornets then rolled off an 18-10 run to go back up by 11 heading into the fourth before a 17-4 rebuttal stretch from the Wizards put the latter in front 96-94 with 7:39 remaining.
Both sides exchanged the lead back and forth the rest of the way with the Wizards pulling ahead by three on an Ish Smith floater with just over 90 seconds left. Following a handful of empty possessions, Charlotte had one last opportunity to tie the game, although couldn’t connect on a late Devonte’ Graham three-point attempt.
“We had our chances,” said Coach Borrego after the loss. “Yesterday [in New York], we had shots and we had shots today. Ultimately, you have to make shots and make plays to win in this league. Unfortunately, it has not gone our way these last couple. This is great for our guys. It’s a wonderful experience to go through this. I know it feels extremely painful right now, but there’s still more basketball to play and we are in postseason basketball.”
Graham (15 points) and Cody Zeller (11) also both finished in double figures off the bench for the Hornets, who got outscored in the fourth quarter by a lop-sided 36-20 margin. Charlotte shot just 39% from the field as a team and 31% on threes (14-of-45), while also getting outrebounded by 11 total boards (53-42).
Bradley Beal noticeably labored through a left hamstring strain that sidelined him for the previous three games, finishing with 25 points on 8-of-27 shooting, six rebounds and four assists. Russell Westbrook triple-doubled again with 23 points and game highs in both rebounding (15) and assists (10), while Robin Lopez (18), Rui Hachimura (16), Smith (14) and Dāvis Bertāns (11) also notched double-digit scoring performance for Washington.
The Hornets will now head to Indiana for the single-elimination opening game of the NBA’s Play-In Tournament, which gets underway on Tuesday, May 18 beginning at 6:30 PM EST. Catch all the action on TNT, TNT.com and WFNZ 610 AM or 102.5 FM.