The Washington Wizards suffered their second preseason loss of the season Friday night, both against the Charlotte Hornets. It was just a week ago when this same Hornets team dominated this Wizards team; they did so again tonight defeating the Wizards 96-86.
It was a tail of two halves for the Washington Wizards. The Wizards came out in the first half shooting 54 percent from the field; they ended the game shooting 40 percent. John Wall had an average game as he scored 14 points with five rebounds, and three assists in 26 minutes played. The downside to his night was that he shot 3-of-12 from the field and turned the ball over four times. It’s just the preseason, but you hope Wall can be more efficient before the regular season starts in a couple weeks.
The Charlotte Hornets were led once again by Al Jefferson who scored 20 points (10-21 FG) with eight rebounds. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist filled the stat sheet with 12 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, and two blocks. The two guys who led the charge in the second half off the bench were Janerro Pargo and P.J. Hairston. Pargo scored 12 points (5-8 FG, 2-3 3PT) while Hairston put up 11 points (3-4 3PT).
Charlotte was down 50-41 at halftime. The Wizards were outscored 55-36 in the second half, including a 23-1 Hornets run. Washington struggled with turnovers again tonight as they gave the Hornets the ball 20 times resulting in 23 points off those turnovers. This has been an area of concern for the Wizards in the preseason; they need to sharpen that up before the regular season starts October 29.
Another cause for concern for the Wizards was the departure of Paul Pierce due to a knee injury. Pierce left the game in the second quarter with an apparent knee injury. He did return to action when the third quarter started but went back to the locker room when he left the game towards the end of the quarter. It’s positive that he came back in the game and played. Let us hope for the Wizards sake it’s minor.
The Wizards next preseason game is Monday night against the New Orleans Pelicans at Baltimore Arena. The Hornets next opponent is the Chicago Bulls. They play them Sunday night at the United Center in Chicago.