Washington, D.C. - The Charlotte Hornets fell to the Washington Wizards 106-102 Sunday evening, dropping them 10 games below .500.
Charlotte looked out of sorts to begin the game, which was to be expected after playing a double overtime game just a couple of days ago. The Wizards jumped out to a quick 12-3 lead, connecting on five of their six shots from the floor. Following a timeout by Steve Clifford, the Hornets settled in, Gordon Hayward in particular, who notched a quick eight points.
The Hornets gave up several easy looks at the rim, but thanks to Washington turning the ball over consistently, it allowed Charlotte to keep within reach. One area that has been a surprise early in the season has been the Hornets' ability to pull down offensive rebounds. They recorded nine in the first half, ultimately helping them get 52 shots up.
After taking a shot from Kristaps Porzingis, Kelly Oubre Jr. attacked the rim with a vengeance and posterized Deni Avdija during what would be an 8-0 run to give Charlotte a 49-46 lead.
The lead didn't last long though as Bradley Beal engineered an 11-2 run to bring us to a halftime score of 59-55, in favor of Washington.
Similar to the end of the first half, the Wizards began the fourth quarter on an 11-2 run, this time powered by Kyle Kuzma who swished back-to-back threes. He continued to be an issue for the Hornets throughout the rest of the game, finishing with 28 points. Bradley Beal had a big night himself going for 26.
Poor shooting from three-point range (2/13 in the second half) prevented the Hornets from having a lead in the fourth quarter. Despite the lack of shots falling, Charlotte found themselves down only four, 102-98 with 15 seconds left in the game. Out of a timeout, Terry Rozier drove to the basket and laid one in to cut the lead to just two. Kispert drilled a pair of free throws in the final seconds of the game to put the Hornets away.
The Hornets will now return home for a Wednesday night matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. EST.
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