Wall Scores 27 to Lead Wizards Over Hornets

On Nov. 25, the Washington Wizards scored just six fourth-quarter points as they let a lead disappear in a loss to the Charlotte Hornets.

They didn't want it to happen again.

Even though the Hornets nearly erased a 15-point Washington lead in the fourth quarter, John Wall's 27 points and 12 assists and Garrett Temple's career-high 21 points enabled the Wizards to hang on for a 109-101 on Saturday night.

Jared Dudley matched a season high with 19 points and Marcin Gortat had 18 points for Washington.

Wall scored 20 points in the first half but admitted to being tired late as he played nearly 42 minutes - 8 more than his season average.

Still, he drilled a key jumper with just over 2 minutes left in the game after Cody Zeller's layup cut the lead to 99-98 seconds earlier.

That shot bailed out Wall and the Wizards after Wall had eight turnovers, two shy of a career high.

``I got a little tired and then I had some careless turnovers that nearly cost us the game,'' Wall said.

Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 18 points, and Jeremy Lin had 15.


The Hornets have the fewest turnovers in the league but had an uncharacteristic 18 giveaways.

``When you turn the ball over 18 times, it's tough to win _ especially against a team with John Wall _ maybe the fastest guy in the league,'' Charlotte guard Nicolas Batum said. ``When he starts running, it's over.''


With starting forward Otto Porter missing his first game of the season due to a bruised left thigh, Washington coach Randy Wittman had just 10 healthy players. He used just eight for the first time all season but thinks the team is ready to go on a roll.

``We're right there _ even with the injuries,'' Wittman said.

Wall said the shortened rotation was tough on him.

``I was exhausted. I tried to find times when I could find subs and get out,'' Wall said.


Hornets coach Steve Clifford is a big fan of the undefeated Charlotte Panthers. Clifford and Panthers coach Ron Rivera often text each other, and Clifford said Rivera often watches the Hornets.

``They're hard not to cheer for,'' Clifford said of the Panthers, adding that the teams have a lot in common, including ``ball security, defend, grind it out.''


Hornets: F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has yet to play this season because of right shoulder surgery but is nearing a return. ... C Al Jefferson served the third game of a five-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy. ... Charlotte outrebounded Washington 51-38.

Wizards: Wittman said that he hoped Fs Nene (left calf) and Drew Gooden (right calf), who have missed a combined 22 games, would return within the next week. ... There is no timetable for G/F Alan Anderson, who hasn't played this season after left ankle surgery. ... G Bradley Beal (left leg) missed his fifth game. ... The Wizards wore uniforms honoring the Baltimore Bullets, the franchise's name more than 40 years ago. ... Washington hasn't won consecutive games since Nov. 14-21 when they had three straight wins.


Hornets: Visit Rockets on Monday night.

Wizards: Host Kings on Monday night.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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