The Washington Wizards failed to exact revenge against the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night, with their comeback falling short, 109-103.
In many ways, the game felt like a different retelling of the same story from their first meeting. The Wizards had their chances to build a lead early but ended up playing in a back-and-forth first half affair that featured 11 lead changes. Their ice-cold shooting from three-point land (9-for-36 for 25% from 3PT) allowed Charlotte to eventually pull ahead.
The Hornets then used a 14-3 run to end the second frame, taking a nine point lead into halftime that allowed them to carry a double-digit lead for most of the third quarter.
But just like they’ve done all season, the Wizards came roaring back in the fourth quarter. They chopped a 15-point deficit with 9:45 to play into just two after Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a three-pointer from the left wing with 51.6 left in the game.
The stage was set for yet another clutch comeback. But just as Trez was coming down with the critical defensive rebound on the very next possession, LaMelo Ball slapped the ball free for another Washington turnover, their 18th and final one of the evening.
Terry Rozier was a thorn on the Wizards’ side up until the very end as he drained the dagger three to put the Hornets up 108-103 with 13.7 left.
Rozier and Ball combined for 60 points to help Charlotte improve their record to 11-8, good for the 5th seed and just one game behind Washington in the standings.
Montrezl Harrell was a beast in this one, tallying 24 points on 10-for-13 shooting to go along with 18 rebounds.
Washington out-rebounded the Hornets 65-36, but the offense just didn’t take advantage of the extra possessions, shooting at a 38.7% shooting clip for the evening.
The Wizards now head to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans in the first of a four-game Western Conference road trip.