Charlotte Hornets

Washington Wizards curb Charlotte Hornets playoff push

Charlotte Hornets guard Marco Belinelli shoots against the Washington Wizards, including center Ian Mahinmi (28), during the first half of Tuesday’s NBA game in Washington.
Charlotte Hornets guard Marco Belinelli shoots against the Washington Wizards, including center Ian Mahinmi (28), during the first half of Tuesday’s NBA game in Washington. AP

John Wall scored 14 of his 23 points in the third quarter, and the Washington Wizards hurt Charlotte’s playoff chances with a 118-111 victory over the Hornets on Tuesday night.

The Wizards returned from a five-game trip and stopped a three-game slide. Tying Toronto for the third seed in the Eastern Conference, Washington dealt Charlotte a significant blow after it had crept closer to a playoff spot with a three-game win streak.

Kemba Walker scored 37 points, but the All-Star guard went cold in the third quarter along with the rest of the Hornets. After making 26 of their first 42 shots, they went 6 for their next 18 as the game slipped away.

Washington won for the 17th time this season after trailing by double digits.

The Hornets had a chance to move within a half-game of Miami for the eighth spot in the East but let it slip away. Wall had a lot to do with their trouble, making five of his eight third-quarter shots and leading the Wizards back from a 12-point deficit.

Charlotte made it interesting in the final minutes with 3s from Walker and Frank Kaminsky, but the Wizards made three consecutive long jump shots to energize the crowd of 18,614 and come away with a confidence-building win.

EWING ON THE MOVE

The Hornets were playing their first game without associate coach Patrick Ewing, who took the head job at Georgetown on Monday. Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said Ewing had a special ability to get through to Walker, Al Jefferson, Yao Ming and Dwight Howard.

“The one thing that I’ve learned from him as much as anything as being a primary scorer in this league for so many years, he helps Kemba a lot because Patrick as a player got different coverages,” Clifford said. “I was right there to hear all of his timeout advice to them. He does the same with Kemba. He’ll give him pointers. I just think those are things that not a lot of people have.”

TIP-INS

Hornets: Lost for just the fourth time in 14 games against Southeast Division rivals. … Marvin Williams was 0 of 6 from the field after shooting 47.9 percent in his previous 16 games.

Wizards: Reached 30 home victories for the first time since the 1988-89 Bullets. … Jason Smith scored a season-high 17 points on a career-high five 3-pointers.

UP NEXT

Hornets: Continue their playoff push at home against the Miami Heat on Wednesday.

Wizards: Visit the New York Knicks on Thursday.

  Comments