Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets move past nightmare first half to beat Washington Wizards

Charlotte Hornets Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, left, and Cody Zeller, middle, vie for a loose ball with the Washington Wizards' Marcin Gortat during the first half of Saturday’s game.
Charlotte Hornets Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, left, and Cody Zeller, middle, vie for a loose ball with the Washington Wizards' Marcin Gortat during the first half of Saturday’s game. AP

The Charlotte Hornets overcame some shaky shooting Saturday and beat the Washington Wizards 98-93 at Spectrum Center.

The Hornets made just 42.7 percent of their shots in breaking a three-game losing streak.

The Hornets (30-39) held the Wizards (42-27) to an 36.7 percent shooting night. Both teams shot 31 percent in the first half.

Center Cody Zeller led the Hornets with 19 points. Point guard John Wall scored 19 for Washington.

The Wizards’ Bradley Beal missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 10 seconds left.

“Bradley made the other 3-point shot prior to that. It was a good look,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said. “Other than that, I’m not disappointed in that.”

Marvin Williams made four game-clinching free throws in the final 10 seconds.

“Everyone knows how bad we needed this one, man,” Williams said. “We’re in a tight, tight spot right now. We don’t have very much room for error. We’re chasing some really good teams for the last couple playoff spots. We still believe we can do it.”

Three who mattered

Cody Zeller: One of only a few Hornets who shot it well (8-of-10), scoring 19.

Nic Batum: Returned after a two-game absence to score eight and grab 10 rebounds.

John Wall: Wizards point guard scored 19 but only shot 5-of-16; added eight assists.

Observations

▪  The first half was an offensive nightmare. The Wizards led 40-39 at halftime on 31.7 percent shooting. The Hornets weren’t much better at 35.1 percent. Zeller (12 points) and Williams (10) were a combined 9-of-11, with the rest of the team going 4-of-26.

▪  Washington’s Wall had 20 assists in a victory Friday against Chicago. He had eight Saturday.

▪  The Hornets’ Frank Kaminsky missed his first nine shots, then went 4-of-5 the rest of the way for 14 points.

▪  The game was a sellout (19,361), the eighth of the season for the Hornets.

Worth mentioning

▪  Wizards forward Markieff Morris (sinus condition) didn’t play.

▪  Steve Clifford said center Miles Plumlee (calf) continues to practice in controlled situations but isn’t ready to return. He also briefly scrimmaged with the team during Friday’s practice. Plumlee, obtained in a trade with Milwaukee on Feb. 2, played in five games before he got hurt.

▪  Washington Redskins cornerback – and former Carolina Panther – defensive back Josh Norman sat behind the Hornets bench.

They said it

“Obviously it wasn’t a pretty game to watch.” – Hornets coach Steve Clifford.

“Nothing to complain about. I just wish we would have made more shots.” – Washington coach Scott Brooks.

“Frank will get 30 tonight.” – Clifford, predicting how many points former Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky would get Saturday after hearing that the Badgers upset Villanova, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Kaminsky finished with 14 points.

Report card

C- OFFENSE: Struggled most of the night, but made enough plays in the second half to win.

A- DEFENSE: Held high-powered Wizards to 36.7 percent shooting for the night – no small feat.

B COACHING: Figured out a way to win a scrappy game.

David Scott: 704-358-5889, @davidscott14

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Hornets 98, Wizards 93

WASHINGTON (93)—Porter 4-11 4-4 16, Smith 3-8 1-2 8, Gortat 2-7 2-2 6, Wall 5-16 8-11 19, Beal 6-14 4-6 18, Oubre 2-3 0-0 5, Mahinmi 2-5 3-4 7, Jennings 1-6 0-0 2, Satoransky 0-0 0-0 0, Bogdanovic 4-9 2-2 12. Totals 29-79 24-31 93.

CHARLOTTE (98)—Kidd-Gilchrist 4-8 0-0 8, Williams 5-7 4-4 16, Zeller 8-10 3-5 19, Walker 5-18 2-3 16, Batum 4-9 0-0 8, Kaminsky 4-14 4-8 14, Weber 1-3 0-0 2, Belinelli 3-9 4-5 11, Lamb 1-4 2-2 4. Totals 35-82 19-27 98.

Washington

20

20

21

32

93

Charlotte

19

20

25

34

98

3-Point Goals—Washington 11-33 (Porter 4-9, Bogdanovic 2-5, Beal 2-7, Oubre 1-1, Smith 1-3, Wall 1-4, Jennings 0-4), Charlotte 9-24 (Walker 4-9, Williams 2-3, Kaminsky 2-7, Belinelli 1-1, Lamb 0-1, Batum 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Washington 44 (Gortat 16), Charlotte 41 (Batum 10). Assists—Washington 21 (Wall 8), Charlotte 23 (Walker 6). Total Fouls—Washington 21, Charlotte 20. Technicals—Wall, Kaminsky. A—19,361 (19,077).

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