The Washington Wizards lost 124-117 to the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night at Capital One Arena in the second game of NBA In-Season Tournament action.
Washington was in full-boundary stone mode tonight, wearing their City Edition jerseys and their tournament court for the first time. While I think that the boundary stone theme isn’t the first thing people think about when DC comes to mind, the uniforms and court don’t look that bad in person and on television.
As for the game itself, Washington dominated the game for the most part from start to midway through the 4th quarter thanks to their hot shooting. Given that the Wizards are a poor rebounding team, the best way for them to get and stay ahead in games is simply to be efficient on offense. The Wizards started the game on a 10-0 run. While the Hornets made several runs and even led by one point during the third quarter, Washington had an answer.
Corey Kispert was particularly strong for the Wizards tonight. He scored 15 off the bench to co-lead Washington in scoring. He was very effective from the three point line. In fact, he made all three of his threes.
Corey hoopin' rn— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) November 11, 2023
15 PTS, 3-3 3PT pic.twitter.com/ni2vRhr6zo
For the most part, the Wizards bent, but never broke. They did let the Hornets lead by one in the third quarter, but were able to get back to a double digit lead. In fact, that seemed to be the story of this game until the late in the fourth quarter when LaMelo Ball was able to get the Hornets up by 110-109 with just over 4 minutes left after an 11-0 run of their own.
And from there, this game was all Hornets, all the time. Ultimately, the Hornets outscored the Wizards 25-8 to win the game. Their threes started falling a bit more while Washington’s started not falling (and Kispert didn’t play).
Rebounding was the biggest stat that determined this game. Charlotte out-rebounded Washington 58-35 for the game with Mark Williams getting 18 of them for the Hornets. While Daniel Gafford grabbed 8 for the Wizards, the bench grabbed a combined 9 rebounds. That’s just not going to cut it if the Wizards expect to win some games.
The Wizards’ next game is on Sunday when they travel to New York City to play the Brooklyn Nets. Tip off is at 3 p.m. ET. See you then.