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Wizards’ big fourth quarter enough to top Hornets

Sportsnaut
Jan 3, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) shoots over Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija (9) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) shoots over Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija (9) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma made big plays down the stretch as the Washington Wizards pulled out a 124-121 victory against the visiting Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.

Washington came back from a double-digit deficit in the second half, scoring nine consecutive points to grab a seven-point lead in the final minute.

Kuzma had 36 points and 14 rebounds and Beal posted 35 points, while Daniel Gafford supplied 15 points and 11 rebounds. Reserves Davis Bertans and Corey Kispert added 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Wizards, who suffered a one-point loss Saturday to the Chicago Bulls.

Washington made 28 of 31 free throws.

Gordon Hayward’s 27 points, Terry Rozier’s 25 and Miles Bridges’ 23 were tops for the Hornets. They also received 18 points from LaMelo Ball, who was just 2-for-9 on 3-pointers. Bridges grabbed 14 rebounds.

Washington committed 15 turnovers compared to eight for the Hornets. But the Wizards benefitted by making 16 shots from 3-point range.

Kuzma’s 3-pointer at the 1:10 mark gave the Wizards a 114-113 edge. Ball missed a 3 at the other end before Beal connected on two free throws.

Then Rozier was off the mark on a potential tying 3 before two more free throws for Beal. Ball’s misfire on Charlotte’s next possession led to two Kuzma foul shots.

Rozier made two 3s in the last 12 seconds, but those were partly offset by Washington free throws.

The Wizards made a big push earlier, beginning the fourth quarter on a 14-2 run for a 98-92 lead.

There were huge turns in the first half. The Wizards led 38-25 after one quarter.

Charlotte outscored Washington by 39-18 in the second quarter. The Hornets led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter.

The Hornets have lost two games in a row following a three-game winning streak.

Charlotte is 2-1 against the Wizards this season.

–Field Level Media