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Hornets blow out Wizards in Charlotte, 133-109
Washington struggled to defend Charlotte all night in a blowout loss
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The Wizards started a long road trip on the wrong foot Wednesday night in Charlotte, losing big 133-109. Bradley Beal had 26 points in the first three quarters, while Mike Scott added 18 points off the bench. John Wall had 12 points and nine assists, but the Wizards’ defense gave up way too many points on Wednesday night in what was not a close game after the end of the second quarter.
The Hornets had the best start by an NBA team this season, making their first 10 shots and opening up a double-digit lead early. Charlotte finally missed with 5:14 to go, and would only make one of their next eight shots. The Wizards locked in defensively finally and made 9-of-13 shots themselves to finish the quarter, only trailing by two points 38-36. Beal starred for the Wizards in the opening period with 14 points, making all three of his triples.
With a 35-point second quarter, the Hornets set a franchise record with 77 first half points. It was the most points the Wizards have given up in a half since 2006 against the Lakers. Charlotte shot 64.6% from the field, making both open and tough looks. Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 16 points in the first half, while Dwight Howard controlled the paint with 14 points and nine rebounds and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field for 12 points.
Beal would finish with 20 points in the first half and Wall had six points and eight assists. Markieff Morris only played five minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, but Scott stepped up with 11 points. The Wizards made 8-of-10 3-pointers in the first half, as their offense was clicking, but defense was not getting nearly enough stops. Washington trailed 77-61 at the half after Charlotte’s offensive explosion.
The Wizards never got within less than 13 points in the second half, as the Hornets stayed hot and the Wizards struggling offensively. Seven Hornets scored in double figures, while Scott finished with 18 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. contributed 16 off the bench. The reserves played the entire fourth quarter as the deficit was 23 to end the third quarter.
Washington’s starting frontcourt of Otto Porter Jr., Markieff Morris, and Marcin Gortat combined to shoot 3-of-14 for only eight combined points. Even though Beal and Wall created and scored points, the frontcourt’s lack of offense, along with the team’s poor defense overall, combined for another rough loss to a team with a losing record.
"They’re making shots. We’re helping them make shots. It’s unacceptable the way we competed," Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said postgame. "We’re going to have change some things and make sure we’re all going to compete. If not we’re going to have find guys who are going to compete.”
It goes without saying that this wasn’t the start the Wizards were looking for on their 12-day, five-game road trip. Friday offers a new opportunity as the Wizards head to Detroit to play the Pistons at 8pm (ESPN, NBCSW+).