This time of year, every game can make the difference for playoff positioning. With that in mind, the Wizards entered Saturday night's game in Charlotte with the intention of keeping up their success in back-to-backs. Unfortunately, a tough shooting night hampered all efforts to find a rhythm, and the struggling Hornets did just enough on their home floor to topple Washington, 98-93. The Wizards will have a day off on Sunday before an important showdown with the Celtics on Monday night in Boston.
In the mean time, some notes on Saturday night's loss...
Shooting woes sink the Wiz
Saturday's 93-point output for the Wizards was their fourth-worst of the season, and their 36.7 percent mark marked their worst of the season. That alone makes it tough to win the game, but perhaps most frustrating from Washington's perspective is that the Hornets' 42.7 percent shooting from the field also left something to be desired in a game that lacked flow from both teams. John Wall (19 points, eight assists) and Bradley Beal (18 points) shot a combined 11-for-30 from the floor and connected on just 3-of 11 from 3-point range. Even Otto Porter (16 points) shot just 4-of-11 from the field, though all four were 3-pointers. On the night, the Wizards hit 11 times from beyond the arc, but couldn't manufacture much else, most notably being outscored in the paint by 12 (40-28).
Gortat leads big night on the boards
Marcin Gortat only scored six points Saturday, but his 16 rebounds were two shy of tying a season-high as he led the Wizards to a 44-41 advantage on the boards. That helped Washington outscore Charlotte in second-chance points (16-13), but it still fell for just the 11th time this season when leading or tied on the boards (23-11 on the season). Ian Mahinmi's solid seven-point, seven-rebound outing also gave the Wizards an advantage down low off the bench they couldn't quite take advantage of.
Just short of stealing one
With 17.0 seconds remaining in the game, Bradley Beal snagged a steal off of a Charlotte inbound to coast to an easy dunk and cut Washington's lead to just two. That dunk capped a quick 8-2 Wizards run that took just over a minute and gave the Wizards a fighting chance in the waning seconds of the game. After Kemba Walker split his ensuing free throws to leave the Hornets up by three, Beal got a look at a game-tying 3-pointer with 9.6 seconds left on the clock, but couldn't convert. Charlotte hit all four of its free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal a victory.
Odds and Ends
- Markieff Morris missed his second straight game with an illness. Jason Smith scored eight points and added four rebounds in 27 minutes in his second start at the vacated power forward spot.
- Charlotte's bench edged Washington, 31-26. Bojan Bogdanovic led the way for the Wizards' second unit with 12 points.
- With Saturday's loss, the Wizards fell to 4-6 on Saturday games, their worst day of the week so far this season.
Monday, 3/20 at Celtics (7:30pm)
Wizards – Chris McCullough, Markieff Morris
Hornets – Ramon Sessions, Miles Plumlee
Shooting %: 36.7% (29/79)
3-point %: 33.3% (11/33)
FT %: 77.4% (24/31)
Rebounds: 44 (8 OREB)
Shooting %: 42.7% (35/82)
3-point %: 37.5% (9/24)
FT %: 70.4% (19/27)
Rebounds: 41 (6 OREB)