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