It's fitting that the Wizards finally found a way to get past the Charlotte Hornets, who came from behind twice in fourth quarters to beat them this season, when it doesn't really count and without John Wall as he sat out his third game in a row.
Led by Marcin Gortat (21 points, 13 rebounds), the Wizards (39-41) kept alive their hope to at least avoid a losing record in Sunday's 113-98 victory at Verizon Center in front of 19,187. Marcus Thornton (16 points), Ramon Sessions (15 points, 11 assists) and Nene (12 points, five rebounds) were followed by Jared Dudley (11 points), Markieff Morris (11 points) and Otto Porter (10 points).
The Hornets (46-34) were led by Frank Kaminsky (18 points), Kemba Walker (16 points, seven assists) and Marvin Williams (14 points, six rebounds).
- Rookie Kelly Oubre (two points) didn't enter until 5:20 of the second quarter and played just 18 minutes. Given the Wizards' playoff aspirations died in Friday's loss at the Detroit Pistons, it was a bit surprising that he didn't log more time. Jarell Eddie also was overlooked as he didn't even play until 51 seconds were left in the fourth as he entered with J.J. Hickson. In fact, the starting lineup stayed the same with Sessions starting for the third game in a row minus Wall (sore right knee).
- Bradley Beal (three points) didn't start the second half because of a sore pelvis, the last of a spate of injuries this season that came from a hard fall March 5. He didn't have a spill in this one. He just didn't come out to start the second half and Marcus Thornton took his place. It doesn't appear to be any matter of concern. Beal didn't look much into this one, understandably, and played just eight minutes.
- Alan Anderson (four points) played for the second game in a row since returning from a groin strain and logged 13 minutes. He's a free agent and has to show that he's healthy if he wants to get a deal in the open market.
- Nic Batum (10 points), who will be an in-demand free agent this summer, is the kind of stretch player the Wizards needed from the beginning to make the pace-and-space style more efficient. He can shoot off the dribble and is a solid catch-and-shoot player from three-point range. Plus, he can defend not only his position but all spots on the perimeter. Ideally for Washington, Oubre will develop into that type of player long-term like Batum who spent his first seven years in Portland.
- The victory guarantees the Wizards will have a winning record at home after hovering below .500 for much of the season. They're 21-19 with one game left, the season finale vs. the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
MORE WIZARDS: John Wall will not play vs. Hornets