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Takeaways from Wizards' loss to Hornets in one of worst shooting performances of season

Takeaways from Wizards' loss to Hornets in one of worst shooting performances of season

Neither team played well enough to win, but the Charlotte Hornets converted enough easy looks to regain the lead after halftime and close out 96-93 over the Wizards on Saturday night.

Cody Zeller (19 points, five rebounds, four steals) and Frank Kaminsky (14 points) led Charlotte to its first victory in the series this.  

The Wizards (42-27) were led by John Wall (19 points, eight assists), Bradley Beal (18 points), Bojan Bogdanovic (12 points) and Otto Porter (16 points) but they couldn’t generate enough offense to win their sixth consecutive set of back-to-back games.

A jumper by Kemba Walker (16 points) put Charlotte ahead 84-77 late in the fourth to stop any hopes of a comeback.

The Wizards had won 12 of their last 16 road games until losing this one.

– This will go down as one of the Wizards’ worst offensive showings of the season. They shot 29 for 78 from the floor, or 36.7%, including 11 for 32 from 3 (33.3%).

– The second unit extended a 20-19 first-quarter lead to 29-21. All five players used by coach Scott Brooks were reserves, with Brandon Jennings, Tomas Satoransky, Kelly Oubre, Bogdanovic and Ian Mahinmi. Kaminsky, however, took advantage of his matchup with Mahinmi late to get Charlotte the separation needed. A three-point shooting big, he was 0-for-9 in the first three quarters but shot 4-for-5 in the fourth to close out the game which drew the Wizards' best post defender away from the rim. 

– Oubre continued to surge and has posted solid back-to-back games for the first time in about a month. He hounded Walker on handoffs and denied him the ball. During the second-quarter stretch when the Wizards took their largest lead, Oubre forced Walker into forcing a shot that barely struck iron and drew a charge on the next possession on Nicolas Batum (eight points, 10 rebounds). His 6-7 frame and 7-2 wingspan can be problematic for smaller guards like Walker as they can’t get clean looks if he’s disciplined in his coverage.

– Wall picked up a technical foul for the second game in a row that’ll cost him $4,000. More importantly, it’s his 14th of the season. He allowed one more until Wall faces an automatic one-game suspension. This one game after a foul was called on Kaminsky on Wall’s drive. He drew the whistle but for some reason continued jawing with Kaminsky. Both players drew double technicals. 

--Jason Smith (eight points, four rebounds, three blocks) made his second consecutive start with Markieff Morris (illness) out. He played 27 minutes and although his offensive output was modest Smith's defensive coverage contributed to a much better start. 

MORE WIZARDS: ​Panda slam! Beal throws it down against Hornets

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Otto Porter not fazed by Wizards' interest in Paul George or John Wall's comments

Otto Porter not fazed by Wizards' interest in Paul George or John Wall's comments

John Wall's comments to ESPN's Marc Spears back in June brought all sorts of reactions, some honing in on his reference to Otto Porter and how his position at small forward could potentially be upgraded if the Wizards were to trade for Paul George, as at the time they were linked to the then-Pacers superstar. What Wall meant was that as good as Porter is, George is a superstar and therefore better. He even couched his comments by saying of Porter: "you can't take nothing away from what he did."

Many saw those quotes how Wall intended them and Porter can be included in that mix.

"We're talking about Paul George here. If we could get him on our squad? We could definitely contend for a championship," Porter said after the press conference to announce his new four-year contract worth $106.5 million on Wednesday.

[RELATED: Re-signing Otto Porter was never a doubt for Wizards]

George has since been traded to the Thunder and is not in the Wizards' picture, while Porter is here to stay. He will remain a key cog in the Wizards' operation alongside Wall, Bradley Beal, Markieff Morris and others.

No one has to tell Porter that he himself can improve. He highlighted his ballhandling skills, for example, during his press conference as something he would like to work on.

If Porter takes more steps in development, he could close the gap between him, George and the other All-Star small forwards.

"It's just motivation. I will continue to get back into the gym. I didn't take anything personal. I'm just going to continue to go out there and work and play my game," Porter said.

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast - New NBA jerseys, will LeBron leave?]

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Ted Leonsis predicts John Wall will sign extension with the Wizards

Ted Leonsis predicts John Wall will sign extension with the Wizards

On Wednesday, the Washington Wizards held a press conference officially announcing Otto Porter's four-year, $106.5 million contract extension with the franchise.

The announcement comes almost exactly a year after owner Ted Leonsis, team president Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks sat with Bradley Beal to announce a similar contract extension.

Beal and Porter are two-thirds of the Wizards' superstar core.

John Wall, the face of the franchise, is the third piece to the long-term puzzle and was recently offered a four-year, $170 million "supermax" contract. Wall still has two years and $37 million remaining on his current deal, but the team would love to be able to lock up all three of their core players for the foreseeable future.

RELATED: RE-SIGNING PORTER WAS NEVER IN DOUBT

Following the Wednesday press conference, Leonsis was asked about the offer to Wall. He predicts Wall will re-sign with the team.

“I told everybody that we would keep Bradley Beal, and already everyone is talking about the John Wall extension,” Leonsis said to a group of reporters following the press conference. “So my prediction is John Wall will sign his extension. He wants to be here and my goal is to have no drama.”

“I told everyone that when John was coming off his rookie contract, we would sign him and he would be our bedrock player." The Wizards did that in 2013, when they re-signed him to a five-year, $80 million deal. But with the Wizards one game shy of 50 regular-season wins and one win shy of the Eastern Conference Finals, the future is as bright as it has ever been for the Wizards. 

But when a potential Wall re-signing happens is still up for debate. The team is still moving it forward, but it's not urgent. "We're moving forward. We're still talking about that," Grunfeld said on Wednesday. "There's no urgency to it. Obviously, we would like to have John finish his career here."

Keeping Wall in D.C. long-term is the goal, and Leonsis is hopeful that it will get done.

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