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NBA -- ​Hornets rally from 19 points down, whip Wizards, 108-104


PhilBoxing.com




CHARLOTTE --- The Charlotte Hornets had a rocky start and fell behind by a wide margin early but managed to collect themselves just in time and top the visiting Washington Wizards, 108-104.

Nic Batum nearly had a triple double with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists and kept the Hornets afloat during rough stretches especially in the first half where they trailed by as many as 19 points​ at the Time Warner Cable Arena on Saturday night..

"The way we started, down by 19, I think we thought too much of last night. It was a tough one for us", the swingman said referring to the Miami Heat loss. "We couldn't be worse than we were in the second quarter so we just tried to use it as a wake up call."

Otto Porter scored 17 of his 20 points in the second period as the Wizards took advantage of the Hornets' shooting woes. Batum made two 3 pointers at the end of first half to cut down the lead to 10. The Hornets then outscored the Wizards 30-17 in the third quarter for a 78-75 lead heading to the final quarter.

" You have to learn how to play with a lead and we don't do it well enough right now." Wizards' head coach Randy Wittman was visibly disappointed. "It's a mentality you got to have, stepping on somebody when they're down, instead​ of relaxing."





It was back and forth in the fourth period with John Wall and Bradley Beal leading the charge for the Wizards. Batum and Kemba Walker paced the Hornets but it was Jeremy Lin who hit the biggest shots. First, he made a driving lay-up with 1:25 left to make it 101-98 and created some breathing room for the Hornets. After Beal answered with a jumper, Lin hit a clutch three pointer from the corner to make it 104-100 with 29 seconds left.

After split charities from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams sandwiched with Beal's three pointer 106-103, the Wizards had one last chance to tie the game. With 2.8 seconds left, John Wall was intentionally fouled to prevent any three point attempts. He made the first free throw and deliberately missed the second but the ball did not hit the rim, for an automatic violation.

Kemba Walker was fouled in the ensuing play and made both free throws for the final score.

Wall led the 22-27 Wizards with 23 points 10 assists and 6 rebounds, Beal finished with 22 points, while Marcin Gortat had 11 points and 13 boards.

Walker tallied 23 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, center Spencer Hawes had 14 points while Williams added 13 for the 25-26 Hornets.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eric Biasbas.


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