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Seven reach double-figures as Wizards top Hornets, 130-126
On the day the Wizards found out they lost John Wall for the rest of the 2018-19 season, they pulled out a 130-126 win over the Hornets.
Led by Trevor Ariza’s 24 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists and Thomas Bryant’s 21-point, 10-rebound double-double, the Wizards won a high-scoring affair. Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 47 points in an impressive scoring display.
All eight Wizards players who played had at least nine points, with Troy Brown Jr. the only player falling shy of double digits. Bradley Beal scored 19 points, but the rest of the Wizards picked up their All-Star in what will have to be a preview of the rest of the season. Tomas Satoransky, who will start for Wall the rest of the season, had 20 points and six assists. Washington dished out 35 assists (on 48 field goals) to only 12 turnovers in the win.
"It's a good feeling obviously, because you know it tells you we are moving the ball," said Tomas Satoransky. "Obviously TB [Thomas Bryant] gave us a lot of energy that we can feed off. Brad [Beal] is kind of the playmaker. It's a tough on him because a lot of teams focus on him, so we have to kind of play smart around him and he is creating for us so many good options."
The Wizards thrived off 16 Hornets turnovers, scoring 21 points. Charlotte came into the game second in the NBA in turnover percentage, only averaging 12.6 turnovers per game entering the content. Washington was able to force timely turnovers and hit clutch shots down the stretch to earn the win.
Washington’s bench unit provided a spark in the first half, making 11-of-12 field goals. Led by Sam Dekker’s 13 points and Troy Brown Jr.’s nine, the Wizards led at the half, 67-61. The Wizards shot 56.8% from the field in the first half. On the night, the Wizards shot 51.6% and made 13 3-pointers.
After leading for nearly the entire second half by as many as 10 points in the third, a late 7-0 Hornets run engineered by Walker with 24.6 seconds remaining in the game cut the Washington lead to just two with 11.1 seconds left. A turnover and two missed free throws helped the run along, but Beal knocked down a pair of critical free throws with 9.5 seconds left to return the Wizards’ lead to two possessions and seal the victory.
“We have enough in [the locker room] to win, even with the guys we have out," said Beal. "It’s a matter of us putting it together and just doing it. We did it for 48 [minutes] tonight. Kemba [Walker] is an All-Star and had a hell of a game tonight, but for the most part we contained him and took away a lot of the things they wanted to do. We made life easier on the offensive end, scoring and moving the ball and having fun.”
On an unfortunate note, Wall will undergo a debridement and repair of a Haglund’s deformity and a chronic Achilles tendon injury in his left heel. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, WI, next week on a day to be determined. Wall is expected to return to full basketball activity in approximately six to eight months.
Along with Wall, the Wizards played without Otto Porter Jr. and Markieff Morris. Porter was cleared to play, but the Wizards want him to get a practice under his belt. Scott Brooks said pregame that Morris is expected to visit a specialist to get a better idea of his back and neck pain.
The Wizards head into 2019 with a 14-23 record, and will wrap up their three-game homestand on Wednesday against the Hawks.