Frank Kaminsky set a career high with six made 3-pointers, Kemba Walker scored 24, and the Hornets took down the Wizards, 122-105, for the third time in as many tries this season.
The Hornets came out of the gate firing, scoring 17 points in the first five minutes of the game despite Walker not attempting a single shot during that span. A Nicolas Batum three-point play off a nice fast break assist from Dwight Howard set the margin at 17-12, forcing the Wizards to take the game’s first timeout.
Batum and Howard repeatedly showed off their burgeoning chemistry as the pair connected on a trio of alley oops in the game’s first nine minutes. The Hornets hot scoring continued through the end of the first quarter, which was capped off by a Jeremy Lamb jumper from no less than 400 feet away at the buzzer. Marvin Williams paced the team with 11 points in the frame, after which the Hornets led 36-26.
The Hornets continued their offensive assault into the second quarter. By the midway point of the quarter, the Hornets built the lead up to 56-38, largely thanks to the play of one Frank Kaminsky. The third year pro hit three 3-pointers and finished an impressive layup between four Wizards. Walker finally scored his first point with under a minute to go in the half on a technical free throw. He followed that with a 3 two possessions later. The Wizards weren’t ready to go away though. Kelly Oubre drove the lane for a layup with 1.5 seconds left. Bradley Beal stole the ensuing inbounds pass thanks to an absurdly terrible decision by Batum and drilled the 3 to cut the Hornets lead down to 67-55.
The teams went back and forth for a couple minutes before the Wizards went on a quick 9-0 spurt, led by Bradley Beal’s seven points during the span. Marvin Williams was able to end the run with a corner 3, and Kemba followed with a pair of free throws to build the margin back up to 11. The teams decided they had done enough scoring for a while and traded early missed jump shots, ultimately going ten combined possessions without a bucket. Kemba scored a quick eight points in a minute and a half to get the lead back up to 17. Beal answered by blowing by Michael Carter-Williams for a couple layups and Tim Frazier hit a couple free throws. The quarter ended with the Hornets leading 94-82.
The Hornets started the quarter with an 9-2 run to build up a comfortable 19 point buffer. Jeremy Lamb threw down a thunderous dunk with 6:35 left in the game which undoubtedly crushed the spirits and souls of all the Wizards players, coaches, and fans. That’s pretty much it. Frank made some shots and stuff, but the game was already over. Lamb ended it.
It’s the Hornets’ third win over the Wizards this season, and they’ve scored no fewer than 122 points in each of those contests. The Hornets have now won three straight games to improve to 26-33, 4.5 games behind the Heat for the East’s final playoff spot, pending the result of their game against the Nuggets.