The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets 116-110 on Friday night. Here are five observations from the game...
1. There was a basketball team that played with playoff race urgency on Friday night at Capital One Arena. It was not the Wizards.
With an opportunity to help their postseason cause, Washington went down by 21 points early and never fully recovered.
The Wizards had won two straight coming into this game and were seeking their first three-game win streak since Dec. 5. Every time it seems like they are ready to take a big step forward, they take a step back and fail to fully get off the ground.
Also, with a game against the Grizzlies on Saturday, a season-long trend continued. The Wizards are now 2-11 in the first game of back-to-backs.
Charlotte went 3-1 against the Wizards this season, meaning they will hold the tiebreaker in case the teams finish with the same regular season record and are in contention for a playoff spot.
2. When these teams played exactly one week earlier, Bradley Beal had what was possibly his worst game of the season. He scored only 15 points and shot 4-for-21.
This game was essentially the opposite. He caught fire quickly against the Hornets and pummeled them for 40 points with five rebounds and five assists in 45 minutes. Beal shot 15-for-29 overall and 7-for-13 from three.
Beal also has a 46-point outing against the Hornets to his name this season. He now has 11 40-point games in his career, which is tied for fourth in Wizards/Bullets franchise history with Elvin Hayes. He passed Earl Monroe with this one and now only trails Gilbert Arenas (28), Walt Bellamy (23) and Bernard King (13).
Like too many games this season, Beal's latest effort was in a Wizards loss.
3. Remember the praise we all gave the Wizards for cleaning up the turnovers on Wednesday against the Magic? Well, that was fun.
The Wizards went back to their old ways against the Hornets. After only having nine turnovers against the Magic, they had 14 by halftime against Charlotte. They ended up with 17 for the game, only three in the second half, but the damage was done.
Those mistakes proved costly, as the Hornets cashed them in for 27 points on the other end.
Beal and Jeff Green led the way with five apiece. Trevor Ariza wasn't far behind with four.
4. For the second straight game, Bobby Portis was not himself. After being held to six points against the Magic, he had three points and four rebounds against the Hornets. He shot 1-for-7.
Thomas Bryant also struggled for the most part. He had six points and four rebounds in 19 minutes, another off-night that was reminiscent of his two-point, zero-rebound game against the Kings on Monday.
5. There are some new injuries to monitor. For one, Tomas Satoransky left in the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. He got hit in the head during a collision with Beal under the hoop.
Beal came charging in for a layup attempt and came down to clock Satoransky in the face with his shoulder. Satoransky was slow to get up after the play.
Here’s the play where Satoransky likely suffered the possible concussion. He took an inadvertent shot from Beal. pic.twitter.com/pzCYWSzj5M— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) March 16, 2019
Also, though both played in this game, Trevor Ariza was limited by a right knee sprain and Sam Dekker is dealing with lower back soreness. Both were considered questionable for the game before the training staff determined they could play.
Ariza had 10 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes. Dekker played 10 minutes, all in the second half after Satoransky was ruled out.
MORE WIZARDS NEWS:
- Need for Speed: Wizards flying down the court with Parker, Portis
- Playoff Push and Draft Lottery: Where do the Wizards stand?
- Perspective: Wiz players offer different viewpoints on Westbrook fan incident