Wizards vs. Bobcats final score: Second-half collapse in 100-94 loss keeps Washington waiting for playoffs

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards built a 16-point halftime lead against the Bobcats on the back of the AARP unit, but a disastrous second half led to one of Washington's worst losses of the season, and kept D.C. awaiting its first playoff berth since 2008.

The Wizards had this one. Like, in the bag. Even as they slowly let their 16-point halftime lead dwindle away in the second half, I kept preparing this recap as if they would eventually snap out of their funk and pull out the win.

Boy was I wrong. As the final buzzer sounded on this 100-94 clunker, Steve Buckhantz proclaimed that, "Washington will be kicking themselves all the way back to D.C." Yup.

Charlotte ended the game on a 19-4 run to complete the comeback, and overcame an 0-for-10 night from three by Kemba Walker thanks largely to an immense advantage at the free throw line, where they made 29-of-34 attempted, compared to just 9-for-13 for Washington.

The game didn't get off to a great start for the Wizards. They scored the first six points, but it wasn't long before Al Jefferson led Charlotte on a 15-4 run to take the early lead. Defensively, Charlotte took away everything the Wizards wanted them to do, forcing them into playing a lot of one-on-one at the end of the shot clock. Offensively, the Cats were ale to rack up easy points in the paint against a seemingly disinterested Washington defense.

But then the AARP unit entered the game, and what ensued was a second quarter of beautiful basketball. The old guys quickly embarked on a 16-5 run, eventually taking a 38-37 lead on a Martell Webster three with 5:34 to play. Andre Miller put on a passing clinic, racking up eight assists on zero turnovers in less than 13 minutes, and Drew Gooden made up for his shot being off by playing sound defense against Jefferson, who didn't score in the quarter.

They didn't let up, either. Alongside Bradley Beal and Webster, the Great Geriatrics (no?) eventually pushed the lead to 55-41 on back-to-back threes from Beal and Harrington. Throughout the entire quarter, John Wall and Marcin Gortat -- who had dreadful games -- were up on the bench cheering. Neither stepped foot on the court in the second quarter. By the time the halftime buzzer rang, the Wizards were up 60-44. They scored 40 points in the quarter, and limited Charlotte to 19. In a blink, Beal had 14 points, and Harrington had 11 on 4-for-4 shooting. Washington finished the half shooting 59 percent, with 32 points from the bench, and 36 points in the paint. It was wondrous.

Of course, with the starters back in to begin the third quarter, the Bobcats went on an immediate 8-2 run. Wall and Co., were able to steady the ship and, following three three-pointers from Trevor Ariza, push the lead back to 16 points. But Wall's hellacious game continued, as he kept jacking up ill-advised jumpers despite repeated misses, and capped it off with getting stuffed at the rim with six seconds to go in the third, letting the Bobcats streak downcourt for an easy layup to make it 80-70 at the buzzer.

The Bobcats extended their lead to 10 points early in the second quarter, racking up easy points in the paint against a disinterested Wizards defense.

But then the AARP unit entered the game, and what ensued was a second quarter of beautiful basketball. The old guys quickly embarked on a 16-5 run, eventually taking a 38-37 lead on a Martell Webster three with 5:34 to play. Andre Miller put on a passing clinic, racking up eight assists on zero turnovers in less than 13 minutes, and Drew Gooden made up for his shot being off by playing sound defense against Jefferson, who didn't score in the quarter.

They didn't let up, either. Alongside Beal and Webster, the Great Geriatrics (no?) eventually pushed the lead to 55-41 on back-to-back threes from Beal and Harrington. Throughout the entire quarter, Wall and Gortat were up on the bench cheering. Neither stepped foot on the court in the second quarter. By the time the halftime buzzer rang, the Wizards were up 60-44. They scored 40 points, and limited Charlotte to 19. In a blink, Beal had 14 points, and Harrington had 11 on 4-for-4 shooting. Washington finished the half shooting 59 percent, with 32 points from the bench, and 36 points in the paint. It was wondrous.

Of course, with the starters back in to begin the third quarter, the Bobcats went on an immediate 8-2 run. Wall and Co., were able to steady the ship and, following three three-pointers from Trevor Ariza, push the lead back to 16 points. But Wall's hellacious game continued, as he kept jacking up ill-advised jumpers despite repeated misses, and capped it off with getting stuffed at the rim with six seconds to play, letting the Bobcats streak downcourt for an easy layup to make it 80-70 at the buzzer.

Randy Wittman reinserted the AARP unit to begin the fourth quarter, but it didn't boast near the offensive effectiveness it did in the second quarter. A few turnovers and a handful of missed shots, and in little more than four minutes, the Wizards' lead was cut to 84-79 with 7:41 to go.

Beal converted a critical four-point play just inside of the seven-minute mark, but Charlotte again trimmed its deficit to five thanks to Walker, whom the Wiz couldn't check with Wall on the bench. Wittman put the starters back in with six minutes to play, but Chris Douglas-Roberts -- who averages six points on the season but scored 18 in this game -- converted a couple three-point plays, Beal got mugged on a no-call after grabbing a rebound, and Jefferson made the easy putback to give the Cats an 86-85 lead with three minutes to play.

From there, Washington couldn't stop Walker or Jefferson without fouling, and couldn't buy a bucket or a foul on the offensive end. Wall played a game he'd soon rather forget, finishing with 10 points, six assists and five turnovers on 4-of-16 shooting.

This was a bad loss. Maybe, given what was on the line and the lead at halftime, the worst of the season.

"Congrats Washington. You have a team in the NBA Playoffs. Celebrate tonight. Tomorrow, lets work on improving that seed."

That was the final paragraph I had written up since the beginning of halftime. I should know better by now. Maybe next time.

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