Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC
When: 7:00 p.m. EST
How to watch: FoxSports Southeast; NBA League Pass
The Charlotte Hornets will return to action on Wednesday night as they square off with the Washington Wizards at the Spectrum Center. The Hornets will be looking to make it two wins in a row after an impressive, 118-107, victory over the Detroit Pistons on MLK day.
The Hornets have been playing much better of late, but the team has still struggled to string wins together. Charlotte has yet to win more than 3 games in a row this season and hasn’t accomplished that feat since the middle of November. If Steve Clifford’s bunch are going to get back into the playoff race, they’re going to have to figure out how to go on a run.
The Wizards, meanwhile, are coming off of a home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on MLK day by a score of 104-95. John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 46 points, but also committed 11 turnovers, while Milwaukee stud Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points and added a career-high 20 rebounds.
Wednesday night’s matchup will be the second of four meetings between the Wizards and Hornets with Charlotte emerging victorious on November 22nd, 129-124, in a game that went to overtime. That night, Dwight Howard scored 26 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, while Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb each added 24 as the Hornets had seven players in double figures. The Wizards were led by Wall, who had 31 points and dished out 11 assists, and Beal, who had 22 points.
As with any game involving the Washington Wizards, the key to victory is containing Wall and Beal. The backcourt duo is the key to the entire operation in D.C. and it’ll be up to Kemba, Nicolas Batum, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to put the clamps down. Howard’s rim protection will also need to play a pivotal role if the Hornets are to escape with a victory.
Offensively, Charlotte will need to be able to knock down shots as the Wizards only allow 104.6 points per game. The Hornets will need multiple players outside of Dwight and Kemba to score the ball tonight, and one of those guys could be Marvin Williams. Williams has been on fire from 3-point range — in his last five games as he’s knocked down 16-of-27 from deep. Marvin will also likely be asked to play around 30 minutes against the Wizards if Frank Kaminsky is ruled out with an ankle injury. The third-year pro is currently listed as questionable.
The Hornets will get a bit of a boost for Wednesday’s game as head coach Steve Clifford will return from a health-related absence. Clifford has missed the last 21 games after receiving treatment for headaches related to sleep deprivation.