Wizards

Wizards

For the first time this season the Wizards return from a road trip with a winning record after dominating the Charlotte Hornets throughout Monday night, 109-99.

John Wall (game-high 24 points, seven assists, four rebounds) got Washington out to a fast start as he knocked down jumper after jumper for a 60-48 halftime lead. Markieff Morris (23 points, seven rebounds) was followed by Bradley Beal (18 points, five rebounds, four assists), Otto Porter (14 points, 13 rebounds) and Kelly Oubre (10 points).

The Wizards (24-20) opened the three-game road trip with a win at the New York Knicks and lost on a buzzer-beater to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

Charlotte (23-22) was on a three-game win streak that included a 35-point rout of the Toronto Raptors.

Kemba Walker (21 points) led them but shot just 7-for-24 from the field. Marco Belinelli (18 points) came off the bench to help close the gap but it wasn’t enough. Charlotte shot 35 of 90, or 38.9%.

The Wizards are 10-1 when holding opponents to less than 100 points.  In previous road trips of more than one game, they were 0-2 (three times) and 1-2 (twice).

They lead the season series 2-0 vs. Charlotte. With two more meetings left for the Southeast division rival, one more win gives Washington the season series and the playoff-seeding tiebreaker.

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-- After the Hornets chopped what had been a 14-point deficit with 2:51 left in the third to 80-74 entering the fourth, the Wizards made 9 of 11 shots to keep their lead safe.

 

-- This may have been Trey Burke’s best game off the bench. He scored 27 for a season-high vs. Brooklyn, but he has never run the offense better, particularly in the pick-and-roll with Morris.  Ramon Sessions (nine points) appeared on the verge of bringing Charlotte back against his former team when his three-pointer cut the deficit to 35-31. But Burke (six points, four assists) had a behind-the-back assist to Morris in traffic for the finish, had a stepback jumper and then another on a pullup. It was a stretch for the Wizards when they made 6 of 7 shots. Burke was 3-for-3 but it's what he did to create for others, too, that set this performance apart from his others. 

--Beal went without a field goal or a point until his three-pointer late in the second quarter gave them a 55-4 lead. Beal heated up in the third quarter when he added three threes. It was Beal’s creation off the dribble, however, that aided his team in pulling away. Nicolas Batum (four points) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (eight points) did their best to keep him in check. But Oubre popped open for clean looks from the arc where he shot 2-for-3. The second one put the Wizards up 91-77. Oubre had a steal as he denied the passing lane to Batum on Frank Kaminsky’s pass to earn a breakaway dunk

--Porter had his seventh double-double, which is two more than he had in his previous three NBA seasons.

--Hornets coach Steve Clifford pointed to the Wizards’ 41-33 rebounding advantage in the first meeting at Verizon Center on Dec. 14 as being the key to victory. The Wizards won in that area again, 47-43. 

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