Instant Analysis: Wizards 96, Hornets 87

Instant Analysis: Wizards 96, Hornets 87
March 15, 2013, 9:15 pm
Share This Post

Wall comes out on top again in point guard competition with Vasquez

John Wall continued his hot shooting streak as he led the Wizards (22-42) to a 96-87 win vs. the New Orleans Hornets (22-44) at Verizon Center. It is the Wizards' second consecutive victory as they played again with just two healthy guards. Bradley Beal (left ankle sprain) missed his sixth consecutive game and A.J. Price (groin) missed his second in a row.

Player of the game: Wall had a season-high 29 points on 12-for-15 shooting, nine assists and two steals. The Wizards are 17-14 with him in the lineup. 

The rundown: Perimeter play dominated the outcome as PF Nene and C Emeka Oakfor only combined for 13 points in the game. Wall and Martell Webster carried the offensive load for Washington in the first half, combining for 24 points as they went into the break tied at 50. They traded baskets with Eric Gordon and Greivis Vasquez, who combined for 25 for New Orleans, in a back-and-forth battle before the Wizards could pull away. F Ryan Anderson missed 7 of his 9 shots in the first half, but he converted four consecutive field goals in the fourth quarter to keep the Hornets in striking range at 81-72. But the WIzards broke free as backup C Kevin Seraphin blocked Gordon, leading to a run out by Trevor Ariza to stretch the lead to 11 with less than six minutes left. Gordon tried to drive, but as he pivoted Wall stole the ball and went the distance for a point-blank shot in the lane for his 28th and 29th points. 

Turning point: Led by Wall, the Wizards eased away in the third quarter to take a 74-64 lead entering the fourth. Wall had 14 points in the third, including two fadeaway jump shots and a step back. The Hornets shot just 28%, or 7-for-25, in the quarter and had five turnovers. 

Long distance: Wall made all three of his three-pointers in the first half to lead the Wizards with 13 points. He didn't take a three in the second half, but Wall only had three made threes for the entire season going into the game. It's the most threes Wall has made in a single game as a pro. 

Bench output: F Cartier Martin had appeared in only seven games in 2013 because of a knee injury. Martin scored eight points in the first half, going 3-for-5 including a pair of three-pointers. Martin played eight of his 11 minutes in the first half. Seraphin was a factor for the Wizards, too, finishing 4-for-6 in 18 minutes for 10 points.

Who’s next: Saturday vs. Phoenix Suns (CSN, 7 p.m. ET). The Suns lost to the Atlanta Hawks 107-94 on Friday. PG Goran Dragic had 21 points and eight assists, but the Suns have lost five of six and are just 7-27 on the road.