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