Matchup: Washington Wizards (10-14) vs. Charlotte Hornets (15-10)
When: Saturday, 6:30 p.m. (TV: CSN+, CSNMidatlantic.com via NBC Sports Live Extra)
When last we met: In one of the more bizarre games of the season, Washington blew a fourth quarter lead as Charlotte closed with a 25-2 run for a 101-87 home win on Nov. 27.
Streaks: Washington returns home following a 1-3 Western Conference road trip. The Wizards dropped the final two games by 17 and 19 points at Memphis and San Antonio respectively... Charlotte snapped a two-game losing streak with a 109-99 overtime win at Toronto Thursday behind 35 points from Jeremy Lin.
Three things to watch
1. Who's playing?: John Wall says he's good to go. The point guard participated in Saturday's shootaround after sitting out Friday's practice. Wall revealed he re-sprained the same right ankle that bothered him last month.
"It was a little puffy yesterday. Resting trying to heal up," Wall said Saturday about why he sat out Friday's practice.
His return allowed the Wizards to have 10 players available or practice. Otto Porter (thigh) was sidelined for a second straight day. Drew Gooden, Bradley Beal, Nene and Alan Anderson remain out.
Asked if he felt compelled to play with so many others injured, Wall said, "Somewhat, but when I step between those lines, I'm the type of guy who makes no excuses. If I can't go, then I have to sit out. If I feel like [I can help] my team win and give us a good opportunity, then I can play."
2. Healthy Hornets?: The Wizards are shorthanded and it appeared their Southeast Division rivals would be as well. Already without suspended big man Al Jefferson, Charlotte played Thursday against Toronto without swingman Nic Batum (illness). Signs now point to the Hornets' second-leading scorer suiting up the Wizards.
— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) December 19, 2015
Batum is averaging 16.5 points and shooting just shy of 40 percent on 3-pointers. "The way they're playing, Batum is a big key to helping them out a lot," Wall said. "ven without Batum, an offseason acquisition, the Hornets defeated the Raptors on the road. That was because Lin, another new piece this season, stepped up. Guys like Jeremy Lin and Jeremy Lamb. All their young guys stepped up and increased their game this summer. They're spacing the court. Their bigs are able to know down shots and roll. They're just a defensive-minded team.
3. Get stops: As Wall discussed the Hornets, he referred to them as "a defensive-minded team" which is a tag the Wizards received the past few seasons. So far in the 2015-16 campaign, not so much. Washington ranks 26th in points allowed with 106.0 points. Charlotte is tied with Indiana or seventh with 98.6 points per game.