PJ Washington scored 25 points, but Charlotte Hornets shot just 5-of-32 from three as they lost their fifth straight game, 108-100.
Washington hit a tough fadeaway to give the Hornets their first basket of the game in what was a frenetic start to the contest. After some exchanged baskets, both teams went cold from the field. The Hornet made just two shots from the field over a roughly five minute stretch during the middle of the quarter with a lot of difficult shots in the paint not going down. An offensive rebound off a free throw led to a Wizards three that put them up 26-18, and that score line held until the end of the quarter.
James Bouknight started the second quarter with an eight step travel out near mid court then fouled Corey Kispert for an and-1 on the other end. Not to be outdone, JT Thor threw a pass into the front row then fouled a 3-point shooter on the other end as the Wizards lead ballooned to 12 points. The Hornets stayed aggressive attacking the basket, and they were able to cut the Wizards lead down to a single possession within a few minutes. Mason Plumlee found Kelly Oubre backdoor for a dunk plus the foul that briefly put the Hornets on top. Jalen McDaniels finally gave the Hornets their first 3-pointer of the game at the 2:53 mark of the second quarter before Oubre had another highlight dunk cutting baseline.
The teams went back and forth as the half drew a close. At the break, the Hornets led by two.
PJ had a strong nine point third quarter with a lot of his buckets coming out of self created post up opportunities. The rest of the Hornets were very cold and struggled to score despite dominating the Wizards on the glass. Rui Hachimura turned the game with six straight points to end the third quarter, including an and-1 in transition that put the Wizards up four heading into the fourth quarter.
The Hornets struggled out of the gate to start the fourth as the Wizards built on their modest lead, but a Terry Rozier three and a Nick Richards putback put the Hornets in possession to have a chance. They had a chance to take a lead a little before the midway point of the quarter with a Jalen McDaniels three, but the attempt when begging. A reckless foul on defense and a bad turnover on offense let the Wizards create some more distance, and they never looked back from there. The Hornets couldn’t string together any stops and couldn’t put together any scores on offense until it was too late.
The Hornets were good attacking the paint and they played like they deserved more points. They’re just in a tremendous shooting slump as a team, and that’s compounding the absences of a few of their key shot creators. The defense wasn’t at its best tonight, but the Wizards did hit a higher-than-normal amount of tough mid range jumpers, especially late, to keep the Hornets at bay.
It was a nice bounce back game for PJ, who’s had some stinkers in recent games. The Hornets other key offensive players—Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre, and Dennis Smith shot just 2-of-18 from deep.
The Hornets will try to get back in the win column on Wednesday against a Portland Trail Blazers team that’s made a habit of winning at the last second in recent days.