The curse is broken in Charlotte for the Washington Wizards as they held on for a 108-100 win over the Hornets on the road.
The last time the Wizards won in Charlotte, John Wall and Markieff Morris were our two leading scorers, Jason Smith had six off the bench, Andrew Nicholson drew a DNP, and a sophomore Kelly Oubre Jr. was on our side.
Coach Unseld went deep into his rotation early, using 11 players in the first quarter. The tactic worked out as a balanced scoring attack with eight players getting on the board gave Washington a 26-18 edge after one.
The Hornets battled back shortly after, embarking on a 13-4 run to give themselves the lead midway through Q2. Old friend Kelly Oubre poured in eight of his 13 first half points in the second with a couple of emphatic slams.
Both the Wizards and Hornets were missing their most dynamic offensive threat and it sure felt like it in the first half. The game had a feel of a mid aughts matchup with the offenses feeling disjointed and lacking in threes. The teams went a combined 4 of 26 from deep at halftime with Charlotte taking a 48-46 lead.
The third quarter was a see-saw affair. Both sides traded blows to the tune of 10 lead changes with the Wiz carrying a 76-72 lead into the final 12.
Jordan Goodwin was a real difference-maker on the floor tonight. He started off Q4 with back-to-back buckets as Washington defended their lead wire-to-wire in the fourth. He also dished out this sweet dime to Kristaps Porzingis for the exclamation point slam with over a minute left.
Goodwin was flawless on the offensive end, connecting on all seven field goal attempts and going 2 for 2 from the stripe. He finished with 17 points, four rebounds, five assists and two blocks while more importantly channeling the same energy he brought against Ja Morant in Memphis. The man is bringing it, folks.
Kyle Kuzma tallied 20 points and six rebounds while Porzingis was his productive self with 19 points, eight boards, and five dimes. Rui Hachimura also deserves mention for his 16 off the bench and carrying the offense for a brief stretch in the second half.
The Wizards get a chance to return to .500 on Thursday when they take on Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks.