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Kristaps Porzingis’ 3-point barrage boosts Wizards over Hornets

Feb 8, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (1) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija (9) defends in the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis scored 18 points of his 36 points in the third quarter to fuel the host Washington Wizards to a 118-104 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

Porzingis sank a career high-tying eight 3-pointers, including four in a third quarter in which the Wizards outscored the Hornets by a 27-15 margin. He also converted eight times from beyond the arc while playing for the Dallas Mavericks in a 143-130 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 12, 2021.

Washington’s Deni Avdija collected 20 points and 13 rebounds and Bradley Beal contributed 17 points and 10 assists in his return from a two-game absence due to left foot soreness.

Daniel Gafford added 13 points for the Wizards, who shot 50.6 percent from the floor (44 of 87) and 40.5 percent from 3-point range (15 of 37). The efficient shooting allowed them to snap a three-game skid and record their third win in four meetings this season against Charlotte.

Washington’s Kyle Kuzma sat out his second straight game due to a left ankle sprain, while Monte Morris was inactive because of back tightness.

Charlotte’s P.J. Washington scored 20 points and Terry Rozier added 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists. LaMelo Ball collected 16 points and six rebounds and Gordon Hayward added 15 points for the Hornets, who have lost five in a row.

Washington’s basket gave Charlotte a 67-65 lead early in the third quarter before Porzingis countered with a quartet of 3-pointers to highlight the Wizards’ 19-5 run.

Washington scored 17 of the first 23 points of the fourth quarter to push its advantage to 105-82, capped by Porzingis’ seventh 3-pointer. The Hornets trimmed their deficit to 12 with 1:11 to play, however Porzingis drained his eighth 3-pointer to effectively seal the win.

Hayward gave Charlotte its largest lead of the first half at 50-41 after making a basket with 6:29 remaining. Porzingis countered with a three-point play on the next possession and Washington slowly chipped away before Avdija’s 3-pointer with four seconds left knotted the contest at 61-61.

–Field Level Media