Charlotte Hornets

Despite big night from Kemba, Hornets can’t overcome defensive lapse in 2nd quarter

The Charlotte Hornets just can’t figure it out away from Spectrum Center.

Even against a Washington Wizards team decimated by injury, they lost their seventh game in eight attempts, falling 130-126 at Capital One Arena. Wizards forward Trevor Ariza made a breakaway layup with 1.8 seconds left, then added a free throw off Kemba Walker’s foul for the victory.

The Hornets lost despite star point guard Walker’s 47-point game, his fourth time this season reaching 40 or more. Walker made six of his nine 3-point attempts.

JeremyLamb1229.JPG
Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb, right, drives against Washington Wizards forward Jeff Green during the first half of Saturday’s NBA game in Washington. Al Drago AP

The Wizards got 24 points from Trevor Ariza and 21 from Bryant.

The Hornets’ defense broke down severely in the second quarter, when they gave up 40 points and 13-of-18 shooting from the field to a Wizards team severely limited by injury.

Turnovers were also a big problem, with the Hornets (17-18) committing 16, resulting in 21 Washington points.

The Wizards (14-23) had won only twice in their previous 11 games. They were missing point guard John Wall and forwards Otto Porter and Markieff Morris. Their projected starting center this season, former Hornet Dwight Howard, is out for an extended period following back surgery.

Three who mattered

Walker: His 11th game of 30 or more points this season.

Sam Dekker: He made his first six shots off the bench for the Wizards.

Bryant: Making the most of opportunity as the Wizards’ starting center.

Observations

▪ The Wizards were dealt a huge blow pre-game with word that All-Star point guard John Wall will have season-ending surgery to address a chronic heel injury.

▪ The Wizards have had problems this season from the outset, and those are now certainly amplified by injuries to numerous key players. Forwards Otto Porter and Markieff Morris missed Saturday’s game and Howard could miss the rest of the season while recovering from back surgery.

▪ Walker leads the NBA in charges drawn after he took his 14th of the season in the first quarter.

▪ The second quarter had to be one of the Hornets’ worst defensively this season. Against a depleted Wizards roster they gave up 40 points and 13-of-18 shooting from the field.

▪ The Hornets entered this game averaging the second-fewest turnovers (12.56) in the NBA, but they committed 10 in the first half Saturday.

Worth mentioning

▪ This was the second game this season when Hornets veteran point guard Tony Parker was designated inactive for rest purposes. Parker didn’t travel with the team to Washington Friday night.

▪ Hornets lottery-pick rookie Miles Bridges appears to have fallen out of the rotation for now. His minutes dwindled over the past four games.

▪ Hornets starting center Cody Zeller committed his fifth foul midway through the third quarter, after playing only 18 minutes.

They said it

“He has a steadiness about him. He’s not rattled by the moment. He makes good decisions...This is a proven winner and can feel that out on the court.” – Hornets coach James Borrego on his faith in second-round rookie point guard Devonte Graham.

“Sometimes there is a tendency, when somebody (prominent) is out like this, is to relax. We’ve got to get more aggressive” – Borrego pre-game on the danger of complacency in reaction to Wall not playing.

“Would I like to have a consistent rotation? Yeah. We’re just not there right now. Today is not the day to have a consistent rotation, but we’ll get there someday” – Borrego on what has been constant shift in playing time, particularly for bench players, in his first season as Hornets coach.

Report card

B- OFFENSE: There has been slippage the last dozen or so games in the Hornets’ low-turnover season.

D DEFENSE: Hornets gave up far too many second-chance points.

C COACHING: This was the fourth time in eight games the Hornets have given up 126 or more points (one being double-overtime in Brooklyn).

WIZARDS 130, HORNETS 126

Charlotte

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

F

Pt

Batum

36:10

2-7

3-3

5

3

8

Williams

36:18

7-14

0-0

7

5

17

Zeller

24:35

3-6

2-2

9

5

8

Lamb

31:11

4-12

4-6

5

3

13

Walker

36:08

18-29

5-8

4

2

47

Kidd-Gilchrist

27:04

5-6

1-1

6

5

11

Graham

21:42

4-6

2-2

4

2

11

Monk

16:59

3-5

2-2

0

1

9

Hernangomez

9:53

1-5

0-0

1

3

2

Totals

240:00

47-90

19-24

41

29

126

Percentages: FG .522, FT .792. 3-Point Goals: 13-31, .419 (Walker 6-9, Williams 3-7, Graham 1-2, Monk 1-3, Batum 1-4, Lamb 1-4, Hernangomez 0-1, Zeller 0-1). Team Rebounds: 6. Team Turnovers: 16 (21 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Batum, Walker, Williams, Zeller). Turnovers: 16 (Zeller 6, Batum 2, Hernangomez 2, Lamb 2, Graham, Monk, Walker, Williams). Steals: 9 (Batum 2, Monk 2, Graham, Kidd-Gilchrist, Walker, Williams, Zeller).

Washington

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

F

Pt

Ariza

40:32

8-17

4-4

7

1

24

Green

38:06

5-13

2-2

7

4

13

Bryant

35:43

9-13

3-3

10

2

21

Beal

37:54

7-19

4-5

4

3

19

Satoransky

32:30

6-11

4-6

4

3

20

Dekker

22:02

6-10

0-0

5

1

13

Brown Jr.

17:34

3-4

2-2

2

1

9

Randle

15:39

4-6

2-2

3

3

11

Totals

240:00

48-93

21-24

42

18

130

Percentages: FG .516, FT .875. 3-Point Goals: 13-37, .351 (Satoransky 4-7, Ariza 4-10, Brown Jr. 1-2, Randle 1-2, Dekker 1-3, Green 1-5, Beal 1-6, Bryant 0-2). Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 12 (17 PTS). Blocked Shots: 6 (Green 3, Brown Jr., Bryant, Dekker). Turnovers: 12 (Ariza 4, Beal 3, Randle 2, Brown Jr., Green, Satoransky). Steals: 8 (Beal 6, Green 2). Technical Fouls: Beal, 00:24 fourth.

Charlotte

29

32

31

34

126

Washington

27

40

27

36

130

Att.—17,197 (20,356). T—2:20.

Officials—J.T. Orr, Kevin Cutler, Tony Brothers

Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell

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