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Hornets hold off Wizards late, 114-107
Davis Bertans scored a career-high 32 points on 8-12 (.667) from 3-point range, but the Wizards (7-16) were defeated 114-107 by the Charlotte Hornets (10-16) Tuesday night at the Spectrum Center. In a game where Washington trailed by as many as 16 points late in the third quarter, Bertans’ red-hot shooting brought the team back within contention.
“I was just trying to do my job,” Bertans said. “They were in there guarding me closer and I was just trying to come off screens and…just kind of have the defense gravitate toward me and somebody else can get open. I think we got a lot of good looks at the end.”
In addition to his career-best point total, Bertans’s eight 3-point field goals set a new career high while his 11 total field goals tied a career high set last season. Bertans has scored 20-plus points in five of his last six games and now has six games this season with at least six 3-pointers made, trailing only Houston’s James Harden (9).
After Bertans, only three Wizards scored in double figures. Rui Hachimura notched the second double-double of his career, tallying 18 points and 12 rebounds. Ish Smith added 13 points and five assists. Bradley Beal struggled from the field, scoring 16 points and missing all seven of his 3-point attempts. However, Beal had another standout game from a distribution perspective, totaling nine assists. In five games this season in which Beal has been held under 20 points, he has recorded at least nine assists in three of them.
Washington’s offense struggled for most of the first quarter, missing its first five attempts from beyond the arc. Down 15 with just under two minutes left in the quarter, Chris Chiozza checked in for the Wizards and hit his first shot of the night, a 3-pointer that sparked a 7-0 Wizards run to close out the quarter.
The Wizards trailed 31-21 with 11 minutes left in a back-and-forth second quarter before a Ian Mahinmi layup kickstarted a 14-0 Wizards run, giving Washington a 35-31 lead less than five minutes later. Mahinmi, playing in his third game since returning from an Achilles injury, made his presence known, scoring nine points on 3-5 (.600) shooting and grabbing three rebounds in 20 minutes of action. The Wizards quickly squandered that lead, but took it back after a monstrous dunk from Beal and a Bertans four-point play on consecutive possessions put Washington up one with three minutes left in the half.
In the third quarter, a 13-2 Charlotte run put Washington in a 16-point hole before Bertans hit three consecutive threes to cut the lead down to seven heading into the fourth quarter. Thanks to Bertans, who scored 12 of his 32 points in the fourth, the Wizards managed to keep up with Charlotte’s Devonte’ Graham and Miles Bridges, who combined to shoot 4-4 from 3-point range in the final frame. But after the Wizards took a four-point lead with four minutes left in the game, Graham and Bridges scored 12 of the next 17 points for the Hornets, including a pair of clutch threes from Bridges to seal the win.
“It was a great game,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “One of those games where both teams competed and played hard. They made a couple of shots more than us down the stretch. We made some costly mistakes, gave them too many and-ones…I thought we played hard. We couldn’t make any important shots down the stretch, but we made so many shots during the game.”
With the loss, the Wizards have now lost five consecutive games in Charlotte.
Washington now has three days off before a two-game road trip making stops in Memphis and Detroit. The Wizards will take on the Grizzlies (7-16) Saturday night at 8:00 P.M. and the Pistons (10-14) Monday night at 7:00 P.M.