Washington’s mis­takes lead to 18th straight loss on road this sea­son

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY MICHAEL LEE leem@wash­post.com


road record af­ter a 104-89 loss last night in Char­lotte.

char­lotte — There would be no carry-over from the pre­vi­ous night, when the Washington Wizards gave one of their more in­spired de­fen­sive ef­forts of the sea­son. The venue changed from Ver­i­zon Cen­ter, which meant that Washington couldn’t sus­tain a com­pet­i­tive ef­fort for 48 min­utes, that it would go through ter­ri­ble of­fen­sive droughts and that it would have ques­tion­able lapses in judg­ment.

And, of course, that the Wizards would lose. Washington is 0-18 on the road this sea­son af­ter yet an­other late-game col­lapse re­sulted in a 104-89 de­feat against the Char­lotte Bob­cats on Satur­day night at Time Warner Cable Arena. Less than a month af­ter record­ing their most lop­sided vic­tory of the sea­son against the Bob­cats, the Wizards looked noth­ing like that team, or the team that suf­fo­cated the New Jersey Nets in a 20-point win on Fri­day.

In his first pro­fes­sional game in his home state, No. 1 over­all pick JohnWall had 16 points and 11 as­sists, pro­vid­ing some high­lights for his fam­ily and friends with whirling layups and twohanded dunks. But if not for the bench pro­duc­tion of Kirk Hin­rich (18 points) and Al Thorn­ton (13 points), the Wizards would have suf­fered a more se­vere beat­ing.

Stephen Jack­son led all scor­ers with 21 points and added 10 re­bounds as the Bob­cats de­feated the Wizards in Char­lotte for the fifth game in a row. D. J. Au­gustin added 20 points and nine as­sists for the Bob­cats, who im­proved to 4-2 since Paul Si­las re­placed Hall of Famer Larry Brown as head coach, just two days af­ter the Wizards romped the Bob­cats, 108-75, at Ver­i­zon Cen­ter. The Bob­cats are a much dif­fer­ent team since then, with Si­las en­cour­ag­ing a more freeflow­ing of­fense, and the Wizards are a com­pletely dif­fer­ent team away from home.

The Wizards (9-26) thought they had re­ceived a break with all-star for­ward Ger­ald Wal­lace, a player who had his­tor­i­cally caused prob­lems against the team, missing his eighth con­sec­u­tive game with a sprained left an­kle. But the Wizards ob­vi­ously have a prob­lem with any Bob­cat named Ger­ald, as sec­ond-year guard Ger­ald Hen­der­son pro­vided a solid im­i­ta­tion of Wal­lace in the first half, as he scored 15 points and helped flus­ter Nick Young.

Young scored just seven points on 3-of-8 shoot­ing, and Hen­der­son sent one of his driv­ing layups in the op­po­site di­rec­tion. Young even­tu­ally got frus­trated in the sec­ond half, as he locked arms with Hen­der­son and re­fused to let go un­til the two were sep­a­rated. He later drove in­side, jumped and threw the ball out of bounds.

JaVale McGee blocked a shot by for­mer Wizards No. 1 over­all pick Kwame Brown on the first pos­ses­sion of the game, but Brown would get the bet­ter of McGee in the first half. Brown used his su­pe­rior strength to back down McGee for layups. He scored seven points in the first half, and forced Coach Flip Saun­ders to call on rookie big man Kevin Seraphin to put a body on Brown.

McGee fin­ished with just one re­bound and his night was summed up on one play in the fourth quar­ter. Jack­son missed a jumper, but as the ball was go­ing out of bounds, McGee in­ex­pli­ca­bly tried to save it and threw the ball off Young. Kirk Hin­rich re­moved his pro­tec­tive eye­glasses and dropped his hands in frus­tra­tion. Saun­ders im­me­di­ately yanked McGee and didn’t put him back in the game.

Af­ter scor­ing 16 points to lead the Wizards to a 97-77 win over New Jersey, Lewis scored just four points on 1-of-5 shoot­ing. An­dray Blatche had 10 points and a team-high eight re­bounds, but he con­tin­ues to strug­gle with his shot, as he fin­ished just 4 for 13 from the floor.

The Wizards led 71-70 late in the third quar­ter when Thorn­ton made a driv­ing layup, but Washington fell asleep, as the Bob­cats scored the fi­nal seven points of the pe­riod. Af­ter Yi Jian­lian was called for a three-sec­ond vi­o­la­tion af­ter stand­ing in the lane too long, Hen­der­son snuck down the court while no one was pay­ing at­ten­tion. Jack­son fired a pass and Hen­der­son made an un­con­tested dunk.


JohnWall fin­ished with 16 points and 11 as­sists, but the Bob­cats pre­vailed, 104-89.

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