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Wizards take out frustrations on Bulls: Five takeaways

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Wizards take out frustrations on Bulls: Five takeaways

Two wins in a row -- and two season series clinched against East foes competing for a playoff spot in their back pockets -- the Wizards are moving back in the right direction after Wednesday's 117-96 victory over the Chicago Bulls at Verizon Center in front of an announced crowd of 19,556

John Wall earned his third triple-double of the season (29 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds) in leading the Wizards from behind in the second quarter to leading the rest of the way, followed by Bradley Beal (20 points, seven rebounds), Garrett Temple (15 points, six rebounds, four assists), Otto Porter (14 points, five rebounds), Nene (12 points) and Markieff Morris (11 points, six rebounds).

The 10th-place Wizards (32-35) are now 1.5 games behind the Bulls (33-33) and Detroit Pistons (34-34), who lost to the Atlanta Hawks. The Wizards routed the Pistons by 43 points earlier in the week and have won all three of their meetings.

They're 2-1 vs. Chicago to end that series, avenging a 109-104 loss on Feb. 24 that was followed by a four-game winning streak and then a five-game losing streak. 

Derrick Rose (16 points) only scored two points after halftime. The Wizards trailed 43-38 in the second quarter but went into the break ahead 63-52 and never looked back.

  • Nene made the start with Marcin Gortat (nine points, six rebounds) not being ready because of lower back pain. He immediately put Taj Gibson (three points) and Bobby Portis (eight points) in foul trouble. None of them was strong enough to contend with him the low post which is why he went to the foul line eight times in the first half alone. The off-ball movement by Porter and Beal created the passing lanes. Nene only was credited with one assist in the first half but easily had a hand in their first five field goals with his reading of the floor. Gortat started at center to begin the third quarter. Nene only had to play eight minutes after halftime.
  • Though the Wizards made mistakes with seven third-quarter giveaways, they didn't give up on plays and made the Bulls feel their presence. Beal was hit with a flagrant foul at 8:25 to stop an easy basket from Butler and Wall put a hard foul on him, too, to prevent a layup though it was ruled a common foul.
  • The cheap fouls are ruining the momentum for Morris. He picked up his fifth foul at 9:24 going over the back for an offensive rebound in the fourth quarter. He was able to take advantage of his matchup with Doug McDermott  (20 points) early but he only played two minutes in the second quarter because of three fouls then. Morris' activity and quickness is needed at his position. He was able to save a missed shot from Beal, toss it back inbounds while falling down and that led to a second-chance three for Beal.
  • Temple isn't always going to shoot with this kind of efficiency, making all five of his three-point shots in the first half off the bench to get the Wizards out to as much as a 19-point lead. He was left alone on all of them. Temple isn't going to make shots at this rate consistently but occasionally there'll be games like this. If he's wide open and can make 40% of those, the Wizards will take that.
  • After playing Marcus Thornton (three points) heavy minutes when he joined the roster as a free agent during the last road trip, his minutes have been dialed back. He played seven minutes. He was on the court for just six vs. Detroit. Thornton had played 20 and 19 minutes in losses at the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets.

MORE WIZARDS: Gortat falls out of lineup, then makes surprise appearance

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' blowout loss to Hornets, including Bradley Beal's buzzer-beater

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 122-105 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night...

1. This was a tough one for the Wizards. For the third time this season, they got beaten by the Hornets and for the second straight time it was in a blowout.

They still had their moments, though, including this alley-oop from Tomas Satoransky (11 points) to Markieff Morris (13 points, eight assists, six rebounds). It was the second alley-oop connection for those two in as many games:

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

2. This was a play that encapsulated the Wizards' night. Jodie Meeks drew a flagrant foul on Michael Carter-Williams, but took a hard shot to the head:

3. Kelly Oubre, Jr. had a solid game with 11 points, including this big dunk:

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4. Speaking of Oubre, he helped the Wizards close the first half with a late surge. The real highlight was Bradley Beal stealing the ball and hitting a corner three at the buzzer:

5. Beal ended up with 33 points, six assists and six rebounds. Here's an and-1 he got to go down in the second half:

All in all, it was an ugly performance for the Wizards. To cheer you up, we'll leave you with this young fan who had a great time at Capital One Arena despite the result:

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

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Wizards suffer lopsided loss against Hornets, who have had their number this season

The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 122-105 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Bad matchup: Despite their poor record, there is something about this Charlotte Hornets team that gives the Wizards trouble. The Wizards lost to the Hornets for the third time in three tries this season on Friday night and, aside from a push in the third quarter, were never really in it.

All in all, it was a dud of a game for the Wizards who were probably due for one. They had won three straight games and eight of 10 since John Wall got injured. They were also coming off a huge road win the night before in Cleveland, a game that started an hour later than usual.

It was a tough turnaround and the Wizards sure looked like it. It was evident in their defense and unforced errors. They did, however, have a decent shooting night. They shot 49.4 percent from the field 16-for-17 from the free throw line.

The Wizards' second unit didn't provide a lift outside of Kelly Oubre, Jr. (11 points). Mike Scott, one of their best bench options, was held scoreless.

PODCAST: WHAT THE SESSIONS SIGNING MEANS FOR SATORANSKY

Ugly first half: The Wizards only trailed by 12 points at halftime, but that score was skewed by a five-point push in the final seconds. The Hornets dominated for much of the first two quarters and did so by hitting threes and forcing turnovers. Those mistakes dug the Wizards a hole they never recovered from.

The Wizards had 10 turnovers in the first half, the same amount they had in their entire game the night before. Limiting mistakes was a big reason they beat the Cavaliers, yet the script was flipped by Charlotte.

The Hornets capitalized with 23 points off those 10 first-half turnovers. The Wizards had 14 giveaways for the games that led to 28 total points. 

Charlotte was 7-for-11 from three at one point in the first half and finished 17-for-39 (43.6%) for the game. That is very uncharacteristic for the Wizards, who entered the night second in the NBA in opponents three-point percentage.

Again, though, the first half ended well as Oubre and Bradley Beal gave the Wizards a jolt in the final seconds:

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Bad defense: The Wizards have played some great defense in recent weeks, but they just didn't have it on Friday night. Most surprising were the guys that hurt them most.

Dwight Howard was limited to 11 points and six rebounds and Kemba Walker didn't score his first points until the final minute of the first half. But others like Frank Kaminsky (23 points), Marvin Williams (15 points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points) got pretty much anything they wanted.

For Walker, it was a tale of two halves. He was held in check by Tomas Satoransky in the first half, but broke out in the third quarter and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. Maybe it was tired legs on the Wizards' part, but Walker just kept dribbling until he got space and once he did, he knocked down shots.

Much like Kyle Lowry did a few weeks ago, Walker made adjustments to find success against Satoransky. We haven't seen that happen much since Wall went out, but those two guys have given him some trouble. Both guys are considerably smaller than Satoransky and very quick. Maybe there's something to that.

Add it all up and this was one of the worst defensive games of the season for the Wizards. They allowed their most points in a game since Jan. 17 against, you guessed it, the Hornets. Only three times this year have they given up more than what they allowed on Friday.

No Sessions: The Wizards did not debut their newest player on Friday night, which was probably to be expected given Ramon Sessions has not had any practice time yet. That is part of why he didn't play, but it's also another indication that he is unlikely to play much with the Wizards. Sessions is on a 10-day contract and is not expected to supplant either Satoransky or Tim Frazier at point guard. Frazier would seem to be the guy in danger of losing minutes, but it was business as usual for him against the Hornets.

Up next: The Wizards are off Saturday before returning to action at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night. Tipoff is at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

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