Wizards open trip in Charlotte
The Wizards open their five-game road trip tonight in Charlotte.
Spectrum Center | 7:00 p.m. | NBCSW | 1500 AM
Wizards (25-19): G - Wall, G - Beal, F - Porter Jr., F - Morris, C - Gortat
Hornets (17-25): G - Walker, G - Batum, F - Kidd-Gilchrist, F - Williams, C - Howard
Wizards: Sheldon Mac (Achilles - Out)
Hornets: Cody Zeller (Knee - Out), Frank Kaminsky (Ankle - Questionable)
Road Trip Begins in Charlotte
The Wizards will play the first game of their longest road trip of the season tonight when they take on the Hornets for the second time this season. The five-game trip is spread out over 12 days and won't include any back-to-backs, which should give the team a chance to be well rested and prepared for each matchup. After Tuesday's practice, head coach Scott Brooks felt that this was a good time for the team to get away and spend time together, something that will hopefully help them get back to playing at the level they are capable of playing. The Wiz are 10-10 on the road this season and tonight's game is the midway point for road games on the year.
Last Time vs. Charlotte
The Wiz let one get away the last time they were in Charlotte, losing 129-124 in overtime back on November 22nd. Washington led by nine with less than four minutes to play in the game, but the Hornets staged a late rally, led by Kemba Walker, and forced OT when Walker made two free-throws with two seconds left to tie the game. Walker and Jeremy Lamb each had 24 points, while Dwight Howard was a difference maker in the middle and finished with 26 points and 13 boards to lead Charlotte. John Wall led the Wiz with 31 points and 11 assists.
The Hornets are 6-4 over their last 10 games and are coming off an impressive win in Detroit on Monday night. Marvin Williams scored a season-high 21 points and made five 3-pointers in the game. He's shooting a career-high 44.8% from 3-point range this season.
Hornets head coach Steve Clifford will return to the sidelines tonight after missing 21 games due to medical reasons.
Wizards Searching for Consistent Third Option
The Wizards' star backcourt has been putting up big numbers, but they are looking for some consistency from the rest of the squad as they hit the road for 12 days. Otto Porter Jr. has scored in double figures in just two of his last seven games and the team knows they need him to be the shot maker that he's capable of being for them to win consistently. After practice, Brooks stated that there's a number of reasons as to why Porter's been in a rut, but he wants him to be more aggressive on the offensive end and look for some more shots. Keef Morris has also been up and down this season, but Brooks also acknowledged that this team needs Morris to be good to win games. They are 13-5 on the year when Morris scores at least 10 points.
Up next, the Wizards head to Detroit to play the Pistons on Friday. (8:00 p.m.)