Washington and Charlotte traded haymakers in the first half as Otto Porter and Dwight Howard got off to good starts. The Wizards blew the game wide open in the third quarter thanks to Bradley Beal, who made threes on three straight possessions to create a double-digit cushion that allowed Washington to put the game away before it got stressful.
Even with Wall back in the lineup, the Everybody Eats ethos continued to permeate throughout the roster. Wall finished 14 assists in 33 minutes. Beal and Porter finished with six threes apiece as they transitioned back to being the second and third options. Tomas Satoransky chipped in 6 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds in his first game as a reserve since late January. Mike Scott added 15 off the bench, the most he's scored in a game since January 27, the first game after Wall underwent surgery.
Wall picks up right where he left off
John Wall didn’t waste any time trying to find his rhythm in his first game back. He put pressure on the Charlotte defense right away and racked up 5 points and 5 assists in less than 8 minutes during his stint in the first quarter. It’s the same, effective script we’ve seen countless times in Wall’s career.
His long ball looked great. He hit two of his first three 3-pointers, but his pullup jumper continues to be an issue. He was just 2-for-8 on those shots.
He didn’t do a lot off the ball, but his teammates were more active with the ball than what we saw prior to his surgery. They didn’t settle for just going back to being catch-and-shoot options, they took what they learned without Wall and put it to good use. They kept the ball moving when they didn’t have good shots and created even better looks for others.
On the defensive end, he didn’t get one of his chasedown blocks, but he looked nice and springy. which bodes well for the Wizards moving forward. When he’s healthy enough to be a force on both ends, it makes the Wizards a very dangerous team.
Kelly Oubre is still looking for his rhythm
Oubre finally hit at three, after missing 21 straight attempts, but it wasn’t exactly a comeback game. He launched 14 shots in 27 minutes and only made two of them, including a 1-for-9 outing from deep.
Give him credit for not losing his confidence as the misses continue to pile up, but the more he keeps shooting and missing, the more opposing defenses are going to leave him alone and dare him to beat them. That can be a dangerous recipe in the playoffs if he can’t get back on track.
- Scott Brooks played Wall, Beal, Satoransky, and Porter together to close the first half. They were a -4 if a little under four minutes together. Prior to this game, they had only played 10 minutes together all season. Even though it didn’t work out, hopefully we get to see more of that lineup over the final few games of the season. It might just be their best foursome late in games.
- Markieff Morris only played 9 minutes due to flu-like symptoms.
- It was a good thing the Wizards were on fire from deep, because the Hornets controlled the paint. Charlotte outscored Washington 50-30 in paint points. Dwight Howard had another monster game, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds in under 32 minutes.
Next up: The Wizards hit the road to take on the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.