December 16, 2019

Washington Wizards Game 49 Recap: Wiz with another epic meltdown against the Hornets

WALL, BEAL AND PORTER ALL SCORE 20-PLUS, BUT TEAM BLOWS 19-POINT LEAD

(Photo by: @NBA)

(Photo by: @NBA)

The Washington Wizards took care of business against the woeful Philadelphia 76ers Friday night before taking the red-eye down to Charlotte. With Bradley Beal still limited after returning from the beginnings of a stress reaction injury, he did not start against the Hornets because of the back-to-back set. In somewhat typical fashion, Washington blew a 19-point first half lead. Even with the Wizards getting 20 or more from John Wall, Beal, and Otto Porter Jr., they did not get a victory. Terrible defense in the second half meant Charlotte came away with another stolen victory, 108-104.

Jared Dudley, who was “disappointed” for not being selected to participate in the 3-point shooting contest, was on absolute fire to start the game for Washington. The stretch-four specialist made all four of his jump shots, including two 3-pointers, for 10 points in the first quarter. Washington got out to a 14-6 advantage, but Charlotte evened things up with an 11-2 run midway through the quarter. Marvin Williams paced the Hornets with eight points as both teams scored 25 point at the end of one.

The second quarter was the Otto Porter Jr. show. The Georgetown product started up with back-to-back 3-pointers thanks to feeds from Beal, but he was far from done. Beal got in on the fun with seven points over a three-minute span as part of Washington’s 11-0 run. Porter, with a career-high 17 points in a quarter, then went on to score 11 of the Wizards next 13 points as their lead inflated to 19. Charlotte got back into the game with a 10-1 run over the final 1:36 of the half to see their deficit at halftime a manageable 58-48.

During the middle of the third quarter, Charlotte was able to take control of the game with a 16-2 run. Nicholas Batum had eight points in the final minutes in the first half and chipped in another nine to end the third. After a seven-minute span, from 10:26 remaining to 2:54, Washington had just one field goal. Over a 12-minute span going back to late in the second quarter, the Wizards were outscored 38-11 by the home team. Headed to the fourth quarter, Washington was down just 78-75 but had lost all momentum from their earlier 19-point lead.

Charlotte regained an eight-point advantage with 6:39 left to play with an 8-1 run before Randy Wittman was forced to call timeout. Washington responded with a 12-3 run with 10 of those points coming from the House of Guards Wall and Beal combo. Blue Magic Bradley Beal had 14 points in the fourth quarter by coming right back at each of Kemba Walker’s buckets.

Unfortunately, Washington was unable to get a stop at the end of the game when they needed to by allowing a dagger 3-pointer from Jeremy Lin with 29 seconds to play. Beal hit a late 3 to give the Wizards a chance while extending the game by fouling, but Charlotte wisely fouled before Wall got up a potential game-tying 3-ball. The DC squad’s playoff chances are looking a bit bleaker following a 108-104 loss to drop them to five games under .500 at 22-27.

Washington will have a couple of days off before traveling to Madison Square Garden for an important matchup with the New York Knicks (23-30).

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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