Final Score: Wizards 85 Bobcats 98 It was a disappointing finish for the Wizards who allowed the Bobcats to close the game on a 15-5 run to take the game 98-85. The two teams were close for the entire game, with the Bobcats late run being the difference. The turning point came with 4:54 to go and the Wizards down three. The Wizards held the Bobcats for just about the entire shotclock before Wall fouled Kemba Walker shooting a three. Randy Wittman was furious with the call and was hit with a technical, Walker made all four free throws and the Bobcats, now up by seven, would not let the Wizards back into the game.
John Wall led the Wizards in the loss with 23 points and four assists. Marcin Gortat registered a team-leading 26th double-double of the season, finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Bradley Beal picked up his performance in the second half, finishing the game with 18 points. Trevor Ariza, who the Wizards have been able to count on from beyond the arc recently, scored only seven points on a frustrating 1-6 from downtown. Free throw disparity was a major factor in the game, as the Wizards only saw the charity stripe nine times compared to the Bobcats 22 free throw attempts.
Al Jefferson led all scorers with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Kemba Walker added 16 points and five assists, and Gerald Henderson finished with 13 points. Forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added another double-double for the bobcats with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Wizards will look to rebound in Orlando against the Magic on Friday. - Brad Bobrow
It's been a close half of basketball here at Verizon Center, where the Wizards find themselves down by two points to the Bobcats by a score of 48-46. For the Wizards, it's been the John Wall show as he got off to a hot start, scoring 18 points on 8-12 from the field, including two from beyond the arc. Marcin Gortat continues to be strong in the paint, grabbing seven rebounds and adding four points. The Wizards second unit, anchored by veterans Harrington, Miller, and Gooden, continue their streak of playing well and providing the Wizards with a reliable spark off the bench. Gooden scored four points and grabbed five rebounds in just under eight minutes of playing time, and Miller added four points and three assists, including two nifty passes to Ariza and Gortat to close the first quarter.
The Bobcats big man, Al Jefferson, who has been a force to reckon with in recent games is locked in to a tough matchup with Gortat down low. Jefferson leads the Bobcats with 12 points and three rebounds. Gerald Henderson, who is returning from an injury, added eight points on an efficient 4-5 from the field. Chris Douglas-Roberts added eight points and three rebounds, shooting 2-2 from downtown.
It's been a very close game, and the Wizards will have to continue to dominate the flow of the game. A major factor will be the Wizards performance in the paint, both offensively, and defensively containing Al Jefferson. - Brad Bobrow
It's another #WizWednesday at Verizon Center as the Wiz return home to host the Bobcats. It's strange to not see a divisional opponent like the Bobcats here in DC until now, but that's how the schedule makers laid out our slate this season. We'll see these Bobcats again in Charlotte in three weeks and then once more back here at Verizon Center next month.
First the good news from pregame... Kevin Seraphin (knee) will be available tonight for the Wizards. He's missed the last seven games with a sore knee. Having him back gives the Wizards another big body down low and good depth on a solid front line. The question will be how does Randy Wittman fit him back into the rotation. The elder statesmen, Drew Gooden and Al Harrington, have been playing well in that second unit, so we'll see how many minutes Seraphin plays tonight in his return.
For the last couple of years, #WizBobcats games this late in the season have had little meaning on the postseason picture, but that's all changed as both teams are now poised to get back in the playoffs.
The Wizards (33-30) sit in 5th place in the Eastern Conference, while the Bobcats (30-34) are currently in 7th.
Both teams are playing especially well of late as the Wizards have won eight of their last ten, while the Bobcats have won seven in a row at home and are 6-4 in their last ten. However, they have lost four straight on the road and the Wiz will look to make that five with another home win tonight.
The last time these two teams met, the Wizards and Marcin Gortat did a tremendous job shutting down the Bobcats most prolific post player, Al Jefferson. They held Big Al to a season-low six points on 3/9 shooting and went on to win that one 97-83 in Charlotte. Since then, Jefferson has been on a tear, averaging over 27 points per game since the All-Star break and is coming off a 26p-13r game in a win over Denver on Monday. But, Gortat has also been hot, and ever since Nene went down with a knee injury he's really stepped his game up. He pulled down a season-high 18 boards on Monday night in Miami and is averaging 16.9 points and 11.3 rebounds over the Wizards last seven games.
Randy Wittman talked to the media before the game about trying to slow down Jefferson tonight:
Trevor Booker spoke with Jumoke Davis at shootaround about tonight's matchup. And he was well aware of how hot Jefferson has been for the Bobcats:
And Mike Thibault is on the mic tonight as he will sit in for Glenn Consor as the color analyst alongside Dave Johnson on 106.7 FM or 1500 AM.
We tip-off at 7pm tonight from Verizon Center. We'll see you in the Live Chat!