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Wizards lose tough one in Charlotte, 112-111
In a pivotal game in Charlotte, the Wizards could not convert down the stretch on Friday night. Bradley Beal’s late attempt did not fall in the final seconds, and the Wizards came up short to the Hornets, 112-111.
Marvin Williams scored 30 points on 7-of-10 3-point shooting, leading the Hornets to a key win in the Eastern Conference standings. Bobby Portis anchored the Wizards with 23 points and nine rebounds on 10-of-16 field goals. The Wizards held Kemba Walker to only 18 points on 6-of-19 shooting, while the Hornets locked down Beal to 15 points on 4-of-21 from the field. Charlotte’s 18 offensive rebounds ended up being a key difference in the game, resulting in 18 second chance points.
"Both teams were really fighting," Scott Brooks said postgame. "We’re all fighting for our playoff lives. Great effort. We had a couple of good looks that didn’t go our way, didn’t fall for us, but good looks. Offensive rebounds crept up on us again. Made them miss and they get the second shot at it."
The Hornets led after one quarter 32-22, forcing the Wizards into six turnovers and tough shots in the first 12 minutes. Portis scored nine of his 23 in the first quarter, but the rest of the team only made 4-of-13 field goals in the opening 12 minutes.
A switch flipped in the second quarter, however, as the Wizards would hold the Hornets to 7-of-23 (30.04%) shooting and 0-for-8 from deep in the second frame. Led by Jabari Parker and Sam Dekker, the Wizards’ second unit scored 20 of the team’s 30 points in the second quarter. Washington used a 16-5 run over four-plus minutes to retake the lead, which they would retain heading into the half, 52-51. Beal was held to only 3-of-13 shooting in the first half, but the Wizards’ second unit stepped up big time.
The Hornets also started the game 3-of-19 from beyond the arc, but made 11-of-22 3-pointers in the second half. Williams made 5-of-6 triples in the last 24 minutes, including a few that ignited an 11-0 run in the third quarter. The Wizards fought back at the end of the third quarter, with Troy Brown Jr. (9 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists) showing flashes. The bench finished the game with 43 points.
After the Wizards used an 11-2 run to take a 111-108 lead, Walker’s free throw brought the game within two. After the teams exchanged extended possessions and Beal missed a fadeaway 10-footer, Jeremy Lamb made the final basket of the game on a 26-foot 3-pointer with 51.5 seconds left. Washington would have a chance to win at the end of the game, but Beal’s attempt fell short.
"We did enough to win, so I guess that’s a positive and a bad thing," Beal said after the loss. "It’s probably more positive given the fact we played as bad as we did and still lost by one. No moral victories.”
With the loss, the Wizards fell in the standings to four games back of the Heat for the No. 8 seed, and three games behind the Magic and Hornets. The Wizards will be right back at it on Saturday night against the Timberwolves in Minnesota at 8:00 P.M. Washington is 8-3 this season on the second night of a back-to-back.