Both teams were on the second night of a back-to-back. Washington had just beat Cleveland on the road and Charlotte had taken care of the Nets at home. The Hornets had won the first two games of the season series with Washington, the Wizards were looking to get on the board in the series and a win over the Hornets would have put them past Cleveland for third place in the East. Frank Kaminsky scored 25 points, including knocking down six of nine shots from beyond the arc. Kemba Walker scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half as the Hornets built a double-digit lead in the first half and never looked back. Bradley Beal led the way for Washington with 33 points.
The Wizards were a step slow from the opening tip, they didn’t bring he same energy they had the night before in Cleveland. Charlotte started strong, Marvin Williams scored his team’s first six points on two wide open three pointers. Nicolas Batum got in on the act early as well, scoring eight points in the first quarter. The Hornets shot a blistering 60% from the floor, Washington shot 58%, but they turned the ball over six times. Kelly Oubre Jr. led the way with seven points, keeping the Wizards in striking distance after Charlotte built an 11 point lead. Washington cut it to seven, but Jeremy Lamb hit a three pointer to beat the buzzer, giving his team a 36-26 lead.
Kaminsky. That’s the best way to describe what happened in the second period, he came off the bench to score 12 of his 25 points. The Wizards started to make up ground by getting stops, but silly fouls allowed the Hornets to add to their lead despite being held to 45% shooting from the floor. Charlotte made the same number of shots from the floor as they did from the line, nine. Washington trailed by 20 points with 3:19 left in the half, but they soon went on a series of runs to close the gap. Their inability to play defense without fouling is what ended their runs prematurely. Walker hit a three pointer 24.2 seconds left, but Washington ended the half on five point swing to cut the deficit to 12. Oubre scored on a layup and Beal stole the ensuing inbound pass by Charlotte and drilled a corner three, it looked like he may have stepped out but the play was not reviewable. It was a great momentum swing for a team that definitely needed some energy heading into the second half.
Tomas Satoransky did a good job on Kemba Walker in the first half, holding the All-Star to just four points on 1-of-6 shooting from the floor. Washington also did a solid job of keeping Dwight Howard off the glass, he had just two rebounds. The problem were the “others” as Williams and Kaminsky had nine a piece. Beal led the Wizards with 12 points after a big second quarter, Oubre was right behind him with 11 points. What was definitely alarming was the 10 turnovers, they turned into 23 points for the Hornets.
The two All-Star guards started feeling it in the third quarter, both Bradley Beal and Kemba Walker scored in double-figures. Markieff Morris started the second half off with a triple to cut the Wizard deficit to nine. An and-1 from Howard and a triple from Walker pushed the lead back to 15. Washington started to get stops and at one point cut the deficit to six after a step back three pointer by Beal. An offensive rebound by the Hornets turned into a Marvin Williams triple, pushing Charlotte’s lead back to nine. Kemba scored the next five points for Charlotte, Beal would respond with a pull-up jumper. Walker and Beal scored 15 and 14 points respectively in the period, the problem for Washington is that they couldn’t string together enough stops. There was far too many instances of the teams trading baskets, meaning that Washington couldn’t get those much needed stops.
Much like the second quarter, there was far too much Frank Kaminsky for Washington. He scored 11 points in the period and Jeremy Lamb chipped in with eight of his 11 points. The Wizards settled for the long ball a bit much, shooting just 28.6% from deep. They shot just 43% from the floor while the Hornets shot 50%. The Wizards scored the first basket of the quarter, cutting the deficit to 10. That would be the closest they got for the remainder of the game, Lamb scored the next four points before Kaminsky capped off the 7-0 run with a triple. Both teams traded baskets until this one ran out.
Washington doesn’t have a lot of time to lick their wounds, they host the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday afternoon.