It was all about the offense on Steve Clifford’s return to the bench tonight, as the Charlotte Hornets defeated the Washington Wizards, 133-109. Charlotte made their first 10 shots from the field and never looked back.
The Hornets raced out to a quick 10 point lead in the first quarter, but their second unit was entirely outmatched by that of the Wizards in the first and allowed Washington to close in. Still, the Wizards largest lead of the game was only two points, which came in the closing stages of the first.
Charlotte got off to a fast start in the second quarter and put together an offensive clinic. They made 66 percent of their shots in the first half, and went into the break with a franchise record 77 points in the opening half. By the middle stages of the third quarter, the lead for the Hornets had been stretched all the way to 20 and Washington could never close back in on the game.
A scuffle late in the fourth quarter of the game led to ejections by Michael Carter-Williams and Washington’s Tim Frazier.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the Hornets with 21 points on 8-for-11 shooting on the night. Kemba Walker scored 19, including four 3-pointers. Dwight Howard scored 18 and collected 15 boards for a double-double. Jeremy Lamb and Frank Kaminsky both had double figures off of the bench with 16 and 14, respectively.
Bradley Beal led all scorers with 26 points, John Wall finished with 12 points and nine assists. Washington had three players on the bench score in double figures.
The Hornets will be back in action on Saturday night as the Miami Heat come to the Spectrum Center. Charlotte is now 18-25 on the season, they find themselves at 11th in the Eastern Conference and 4 and a half games behind the eighth-placed Detroit Pistons.