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Wizards host Hornets Friday night
Coming off a win over San Antonio on Wednesday night, the Wizards host the Charlotte Hornets (6-9) Friday at 7:00 P.M. at Capital One Arena. In the teams’ first meeting of the year, the Wizards are looking to win consecutive games for the first time this season while Charlotte looks to snap a two-game losing streak.
Capital One Arena | 7:00 P.M. | NBCSW | 1500 AM
Wizards: G – Isaiah Thomas, G – Bradley Beal, F – Troy Brown Jr., F – Rui Hachimura, C – Thomas Bryant
Hornets: G – Devonte’ Graham, G – Terry Rozier, F – Miles Bridges, F – P.J. Washington, C – Cody Zeller
Wizards: John Wall (left Achilles rehab – out), Ian Mahinmi (right Achilles strain – out)
Beal among league’s best scorers
Bradley Beal enters Friday’s game against Charlotte having scored 30-plus points in four straight and five of his last six games. Beal ranks third in the league with 30.1 points per game and is coming off a 33-point outing against San Antonio that included 21 points in the third quarter alone and a streak of 10 consecutive made field goals. In addition to his scoring, Beal has also been the Wizards’ most consistent playmaker, recording at least eight assists in six of Washington’s 12 games this season. He is now averaging a career-best 6.7 dimes per game.
Beal has found success against Charlotte of late, scoring 40-plus points in two of his last three games against the Hornets and four consecutive games with at least five assists. In February of last season, Beal recorded one of his best games of the year, scoring 46 points on 16-25 (.640) shooting to along with seven assists and five rebounds against Charlotte.
Wizards bench continues to produce
Wednesday night against the Spurs, the Wizards bench scored 63 points, one point shy of their season high set during the 159-158 shootout with the Houston Rockets. It was Washington’s third game this season with 60-plus bench points and their sixth with at least 50. The Wizards bench averages 45.0 points per game, tied with the Detroit Pistons for second in the league.
The Wizards have gotten production off the bench from a variety of players. Moritz Wagner and Davis Bertans each average over 12 points per game and Ish Smith is coming off his best performance of the season, a 21-point game on 9-12 (.750) from the field. Similar to the Wizards, the Hornets also run a deep bench with eight players averaging at least 20 minutes per game.
Slowing down Devonte’ Graham
One of the league’s biggest early season surprises has been Charlotte’s Devonte’ Graham, a second-year guard out of the University of Kansas who has made the most of his increased minutes following Kemba Walker’s departure. Graham is averaging 18.2 points and 6.9 assists in 32.4 minutes per game, all significant gains from the 2018-19 season. Graham has also improved his field goal, 3-point field goal and free throw percentages year-over-year. He enters Friday’s game having scored 15-plus points in eight of his last nine, including a 35-point outburst against the Pacers earlier this month.