Recap: Wizards' win streak ends with 97-87 loss in Charlotte
FINAL: WIZARDS 87 | HORNETS 97
WIZARDS: Bradley Beal (24), Daniel Gafford (20), Montrezl Harrell (15)
HORNETS: Terry Rozier (19), Miles Bridges (17), Kelly Oubre Jr. (14)
The Wizards saw their five-game winning streak come to an end, falling to the Hornets 97-87 on Wednesday night at Spectrum Center. Bradley Beal and Daniel Gafford each scored at least 20 points to lead the way for Washington while Charlotte got a balanced effort across the roster, led by six players scoring in double figures.
Neither team managed much separation in a first quarter that featured seven lead changes and three ties. Gafford converted his first four shots and scored eight of the Wizards’ first 13 points of the game. Coming out of a timeout that followed consecutive Hornets 3-pointers, the Wizards went on a 7-0 run to take a 24-20 lead with two minutes left in the first quarter. The run was capped by a Montrezl Harrell transition block that led to a Beal 3-pointer on the other end. Washington shot 52.0% from the field and held Charlotte to 37.0% and took a 29-24 lead into the second quarter. The Wizards’ offense cooled off in the second quarter, shooting 8-24 (.333) from the field and 0-10 (.000) from deep, but rode another strong defensive quarter to a six-point halftime lead.
Washington led by as many as nine points early in the third quarter, but a 16-2 Charlotte run, highlighted by a pair of threes from Jalen McDaniels gave Charlotte a 68-63 lead with just under four minutes left in the frame. Washington went without a field goal for over three and half minutes before a put-back dunk from Harrell stopped the Hornets run. But Charlotte wasn’t done. Back-to-back buckets from former Wizard Kelly Oubre Jr. gave the Hornets a 75-65 lead heading into the fourth. Coming off two consecutive double-digit fourth-quarter comebacks, the Wizards were unable to make it three in a row. Beal knocked down his third 3-pointer of the night, one of three that he hit in the final frame, to cut the deficit down to five points, but Washington could not sustain the momentum. A 13-5 Charlotte run immediately after put the Wizards away for good.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Beal leads with 24 in first game back
After missing the last two games, Beal made his return to action Wednesday night in Charlotte, leading the team with 24 points on 9-20 (.450) from the field and 5-11 (.455) from three. Beal made up for a slow shooting start with four assists, two rebounds and a steal – and finished plus-five in 10 minutes – in the first quarter alone. Beal added seven assists in total, his fifth-straight game with at least seven helpers, one game shy of tying the longest such streak of his career.
3-point shooting dooms Washington
The Wizards’ offensive struggles were driven by one of their worst 3-point shooting performances of the season. Washington finished the night 8-42 (.190) from beyond the arc, their second-worst 3-point shooting night of the season and one of just 12 sub-20% 3-point shooting games in the league this year. The Wizards’ lone bright spot from three was Beal, whose five threes accounted for more than half of the team total.
Wizards’ bigs start strong
Early on, the Wizards were led by the play of their center duo. Gafford finished one point shy of his career high with 20 points to go along with a season-high nine rebounds. He made his first nine shots of the night, but missed his last three, finishing the night 9-12 (.750) from the floor. Harrell, playing in his home state of North Carolina, scored nine points in his first 11 minutes on the court and closed the night with 15 points and nine rebounds in 22 minutes of action.