Spectrum Center | 7pm | CSN+ | 1500 AM
Wizards (42-26): G - Wall, G - Beal, F - Porter, F - Smith, C - Gortat
Hornets (29-39): G - Walker, G - Lamb, F - Kidd-Gilchrist, F - Williams, C - Zeller
Wizards: Morris (illness) - TBD
Hornets: Batum (migraine) - TBD
Last Time Out
3/17/17: Bulls 107 - Wizards 112
The Wizards held off a late run from Chicago and snapped a two-game losing streak with a 112-107 win over the Bulls last night at Verizon Center. John Wall set a new career-high with 20 assists, Bradley Beal led the team in scoring with 24 points, and Jason Smith (17 points) and Ian Mahinmi (16 points) both had season-highs in scoring.
3/15/17: Hornets 77 - Pacers 98
The Hornets lost their third straight game on Wednesday night in Indiana as they were held to a season-low 77 points and went just 3/23 from 3-point range. Frank Kaminsky led the Hornets with 20 points.
Season Series with Charlotte
The Wizards have beaten the Hornets twice this season, first beating them in Washington, 109-106 in mid December, and then 109-99 in Charlotte in late January. In both games the Wizards built up sizable leads and held off late runs from the Hornets to secure the victories. The two teams will meet again for the fourth and final time on April 4th at Verizon Center.
What to Watch For
10 Straight Back-to-Backs
The Wizards have won 11 straight games apart of a back-to-back series and have won five straight games playing on the second night of a back-to-back. They began the year 1-7 on the second night of a back-to-back, but are now 6-7 after the five consecutive wins. Four of those five wins have come on the road, with victories in New York, Toronto, Denver, and Portland. The Wizards will play two more back-to-back series this year, playing at home against Brooklyn and in Cleveland next weekend, and then a Clippers/Lakers back-to-back in L.A. at the end of the month.
Hornets Falling Fast
The Hornets have lost three straight and four of five and are now 10 games under .500 with just four weeks left in the regular season. Their playoff hopes are quickly dwindling as the season nears an end and after a 48-win season a year ago, the 2016-17 season would have to be labeled as a disappointment for Charlotte. They average more points (104.9) than they allow (104.4), which makes their record somewhat of a mystery, but they just haven't been able to pile up wins like they did last season. One bright spot of late has been the play of second-year big man Frank Kaminsky, who has averaged over 17 points per game over his last 14 contests. Kemba Walker has also had an outstanding season, and made his first All-Star Game in February. They'll be fighting to stay in the race tonight, which makes any team dangerous, so the Wizards will want to take care of them early and take away any hopes of an upset.
John Wall vs. Kemba Walker
Wall has had so many incredible feats over his seven year career, but he did something last night for the first time ever: dish out 20 assists in a game. He had totaled 19 multiple times in his career, but last night was the first time he made it to 20. He had eight in the first quarter and 12 at the half, and then his 20th was one of the biggest of the game as he fed Marcin Gortat for an alley-oop in crunch time to close out the Bulls. Wall is averaging a career high 10.9 apg and continues to be one of the best passers in the game, while also averaging 23 points per night. He'll go up against another All-Star tonight in Kemba Walker, a point guard who is also averaging 23 points per contest this season. He's coming off a tough game on Wednesday, when he was held to seven points on 3/11 shooting, but he'll look to bounce back tonight.