Beal’s Big Night Not Enough, Wizards Lose 123-110 in Charlotte
Usually, All-Star weekend can take a lot out of a player. The press, the fans, the festivities, and the game itself can take a toll. The Wizards’ Bradley Beal must have missed the memo. He blew up with 46 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists, but it was not enough as the Wizards fell to the Charlotte Hornets 123-110.
Kemba Walker led the Hornets to the victory, thanks to 27 points and 11 assists. Furthermore, they had all starters score in double figures, but the difference in the game was the second unit. The bench of the Hornets outscored their Wizards counterparts 38 to 21. Jeremy Lamb, a usual starter, led the way with 16 points off the bench. The Wizards could not find an answer for the energy of the Hornets. They used the second and third quarters to build a substantial lead of 16 in the third.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) February 23, 2019
“On the road, we can’t have a stretch of bad play, and we did tonight in that second quarter,” said Wizards coach Scott Brooks. “We can’t be worried about anybody but ourselves, we got to play better…[and] have to focus on how we play and we have to do it for 48 minutes. We have to be able to do it night in and night out, we need everybody.”
Making a Game of it
The Wizards did try to make it close, cutting the lead to five early in the fourth. The Hornets answered with a 7-0 run to take the lead back up to 12, and that was enough to hold off the Wizards. Bobby Portis continued to produce as a Wizard, adding a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Fellow newcomer Jabari Parker struggled to find his shot, missing all his 3-pointers and finishing with only 4 points. The entire team struggled from deep, only shooting 25%.
Another issue for the Wizards was foul trouble. Tomas Satoranksy got into early trouble with 3 fouls in the first half. In addition, Beal and Portis ended up with 4 fouls, which may have limited some of their aggression defensively. Brooks had to be creative with his lineups, often playing Beal at the point and even having Trevor Ariza run some of the offense. On the other hand, this created match-up problems for the Wizards and was a factor in Walker’s big game.
“I’m going to do whatever it takes, sometimes it’s going to involve me scoring 50, sometimes its 5. We got to do whatever it takes, I’m going to play my a** off until we do,” said Beal about his performance tonight. “It’s up to me to help us get wins, and we not winning right now, so we got to be better, and I’ll be better tomorrow.”
Back to work tomorrow.
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) February 23, 2019
Help is on the way?
Center Dwight Howard returned to Wizards practice this week, but he did not participate in full contact drills. He is returning from spine surgery in November and hopes to get the green light in the next few weeks. Howard may not be the dominant force of his heyday, but he may provide the interior presence that the Wizards have lacked. If he can repeat his performance as a Hornet last season, then he can be a factor. However, it may be too little too late. In addition, they also expect rookie Troy Brown to return to the team after a G-league assignment.
With only 23 games left on the schedule, the Wizards really need to find a way to turn this season around. Amazingly, with all the injuries they have dealt with this season, they still only sit 3 games back of eighth place in the East. They host the Indiana Pacers at home for their next game. Hopefully, they get it together for the final stretch run in March and April.
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