The Washington Wizards lost to the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday afternoon, 119-97. After a bad Friday loss, this game just didn’t seem much better.
The first quarter started with a determined Bradley Beal, looking to get into rhythm after a dismal game against the Heat the other day. And he scored two shots for 5 quick points to begin the ball game, first from the right baseline, then from the left corner. The Hornets then had Cody Zeller step up and score 9 straight points, including his first three of the season as Alex Len left him completely open on the top of the key. The remainder of the quarter continued with lax defenses to end at 31-34 for the Hornets.
The second quarter opened with Head Coach Scott Brooks continuing with his 3-guard line-up of Ish Smith-Raul Neto-Russell Westbrook. The Hornets TV commentators for Fox Sports Southeast, Dell Curry and Eric Collins, at this point questioned this lineup of the Wizards by arguing between themselves whether it “lacked the desire to play defense” or whether it “lacked the ability to play defense.”
A couple minutes later they went on to exclaim “[The Hornets] can get whatever they want on the offensive side of the floor” which accurately described the swiss-cheese defensive scheme of Brooks. At which point the Wizards, down by 8, took a timeout.
Beal and Avdija returned from the timeout for Neto and Westbrook, and Beal immediately went at it with a quick and thunderous dunk and another, heavily contested, three for the potential 4-point play combined with a foul on Robin Lopez (who missed the free throw).
However, at that point the Hornets went on a 9-2 run to push the lead back to double digits 41-51. The Hornets commentators which were crashing it all night long, then had another gem as they discussed Alex Len’s longest active streak of a player in the NBA that hasn’t yet played a playoff game, remarking that finally he made it to a playoff team in the Raptors, but then found himself in the Wizards, at which point Dell Curry added: “and sure enough that means his streak will continue!” Ouch.
Shortly after, Eric Collins asked Dell Curry: “How many dunks do you think Russell Westbrook has in 14 games this season?”, to which Dell maneuvered by saying he’s not as explosive as he used to be due to knee injuries and threw back “Six?”, to which Eric replied “One. Which makes you wonder how much more tread does he have on his tires?” Double ouch.
The Wizards then let several easy threes, and between a couple timeouts, the deficit quickly grew to 21, 44-65, with the Wizards looking inept on both sides of the floor. A couple more minutes went by with scrambled play for both teams to end the half at 52-69, for the Hornets best half of the season, scoring-wise. Beal tallied 19 points, but not much from anybody else (except Robin Lopez who had a good first half with 3 of his nice hook shots finding the bottom).
The third quarter was more or less for the protocol, as the Wizards came out of the locker room with no energy to show for team that needs to come back from a 17-point hole.
At 65-89 Brooks inserted, for the first time, Mathews and Brown, Jr. I’m sparing you a couple more gems from Eric and Dell, which talked quite a bit about the Wizards. At 1:30 in the third quarter, as the Hornets led by almost 30, Scott Brooks took his final timeout. First time I have ever seen something like that happen.
The Hornets broke the century mark by the end of the 3 quarter as the camera focused on a frustrated Beal on the bench and Eric and Dell contemplating whether the Wizards should trade him or not.
The fourth quarter was total garbage time, and the Wizards register another blow out loss. What a bummer before the Super Bowl!
The Wizards will be on a plane to Chicago to face off against the Bulls tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET.