John Wall scored a game-high 27 points as the shorthanded Wizards sting the shorthanded Hornets, 109-101. Garrett Temple scored a career-high 21 points on an effective 7-9 shooting while Jared Dudley scored 19 points on 7-10 shooting.
With Otto Porter missing tonight's game due to a thigh injury, Kelly Oubre Jr. got his first NBA start. The rookie was solid tonight logging eight points and five rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Oubre got in a bit of foul trouble that forced him to the bench but overall, a good performance.
The Hornets were without Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (recovering from surgery) and Al Jefferson (suspension) tonight. The Hornets started hot, hitting on 5-11 from three-point range in the first quarter.
John Wall's hot streak continues to roll along as Wall logged 27 points with 20 coming in the first half. Temple scored 12 of his 21 points in the first half including this three-pointer at the end of the first half to give the Wizards momentum heading into halftime:
The Wizards ended the third quarter on a 16-6 run to stretch the lead to 11, 86-75. But you knew it wouldn't be smooth sailing.
The Hornets went on a 16-2 run to cut Washington's lead to one, 101-100 with just minutes to play. But John Wall hit a key jump shot from the elbow and set up Gortat for a hook shot in the lane as the Wizards would pull away and win, 109-101.
Wizards get into the paint: The Wizards scored 22 points in the paint in the first half and 40 for the game. Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin could not stay in front of Wall as he was able to get to the hole without much resistance and really, anywhere on the court he wanted. Garrett Temple was aggressive getting out in transition. Ramon Sessions was able to slice through the Hornets defense and get to the hole. And let's not forget about Gortat who got off to a slow start missing his first four shots but went 7-12 the rest of the way with most of his damage coming in the painted area.
Garett Temple and Jared Dudley come up big: Dudley went 7-10 from the field (3-5 from three-point range) for 19 points and nine rebounds. Temple was even more effective going 7-9 from the field (2-3 from three-point range) for 21 points. After posting an odd stat line in the first quarter (0 points, 5 rebounds, and 0 assists), Dudley got going in the second quarter knocking down three of his first four shots. In addition, Dudley knocked down two three-pointers at key moments in the second half tonight. Temple was very aggressive, especially in transition. Temple scored six of his 21 points on transition layups and got to the line, connecting on 5-7 from the charity stripe.
Hornets get into the paint/crash offensive glass: The Hornets scored 26 points in the paint for the first half and 50 for the game. The Hornets, the worst offensive rebounding team in the league snagged 18 offensive rebounds. As a result, they had 14 more shot attempts than the Wizards. This was due to a variety of reasons; lack of hustle from the Wizards, not boxing out on defense, and many times, Wizards players were leaking out while the shot was up assuming another player would gather the rebound. Additionally, Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin didn't have too much resistance when driving to the hole tonight. This game had the potential of being a blowout but the Wizards gave the Hornets too many second chance opportunities which prevented it from getting out of hand.