The Hornets wasted no time digging themselves into a hole. The Wizards jumped out to a 12-3 before Steve Clifford had to take a timeout to break the momentum. Gordon Hayward hit a trio of jumpers to get the Hornets offense going, but the Wizards continued to get whatever they wanted on the other end. They made nine of their first twelve shots en route to a 35 point first quarter. They cooled off a little bit in the last couple of minutes in the quarter, but it was still 35-27 in favor of the Wizards after one.
The Hornets drew closer with a couple of iso buckets from PJ Washington ad more Hayward jumpers. Kai Jones got another spurt of second quarter minutes and his layup gave the Hornets a lead. It was followed by this.
The lead didn’t last long, however. Bradley Beal went on an 8-0 spurt for the Wizards to retake the lead, and that lead was four points at the break.
The teams traded baskets to start the third quarter with a short spurt from Kelly Oubre and Terry Rozier helping the Hornets take the lead back for one possession. The Wizards quickly took it back with six straight points. PJ Washington hit a three to tie the game and Dennis Smith Jr found Nick Richards in delayed transition to retake the lead for the Hornets with just over minute left to play. They were able to hold onto this time, and they went into the third quarter with a three point lead.
Kyle Kuzma wiped that lead with a pair of early fourth quarter 3-pointers and a layup. It was part of an 11-2 Wizards run for the first 2:12 of the period. The Hornets would never quite overcome that deficit. They got close a couple times, like when Kai Jones got this steal and score...
Both teams went cold from that point in what was a very clunky stretch run of the game. A pair of Terry Rozier free throws brought the Hornets within 2 with a minute to play, but the Wizards executed the free throw game to keep the Hornets from getting any closer than that.
The loss to the Wizards lacked any glaring fault, unlike some of the Hornets other losses. The Hornets just couldn’t make enough shots, especially down the stretch, to keep up with the Wizards. They made just four-of-13 shots in the final four minutes as they were held at bay when they tried to make their final push.
The Hornets got Dennis Smith Jr. back in the lineup after he missed a few games with a twisted ankle, but they received another scare with Gordon Hayward looking very uncomfortable with his shoulder down the stretch. No word on if he aggravated the shoulder injury enough to cause more missed time, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
The Hornets have a couple of days to rest up before coming home to face the 76ers on the day before Thanksgiving.