Charlotte Hornets wrapup: Tuesday’s road game vs. Washington Wizards
By Richard Walker
Notes and observations from Tuesday’s 114-104 Hornets’ road win over the Washington Wizards that improved Charlotte to 24-22 overall:
… One day after Terry Rozier was named Eastern Conference player of the week, he started his resume’ for winning it again next week with a seven points in the final 3:43 after Washington has closed within 98-95 to all but wrap up the team’s fourth win in five games. Rozier finished with 27 points, six rebounds and four assists. It was his eighth game of 20 or more points in the last nine contests and fifth in a row. “We have confidence in him and I know he has confidence in himself,” Cody Zeller said of Rozier.
… Gordon Hayward added 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, Devonte’ Graham 17 points, five rebounds and six assists and Cody Zeller 16 points and 13 rebounds. “We just found a way tonight,” Charlotte coach James Borrego said. “It was not the prettiest game. We were not as crisp offensively. Overall, our defense got this win tonight.”
… With All-Star Bradley Beal out with a bruised hip, Russell Westbrook had 22 points, 15 rebounds and 14 assists and Rui Hachimara had 30 points to lead the Wizards (17-29).
… Charlotte led at the end of each quarter for the 12th time this season – and third time in five games this season.
… Borrego was happy for Rozier and for his team that Rozier was honored as conference player of the week. “I’m real proud of him,” Borrego said of Rozier. “It’s validation of his hard work and his season. It’s a validation of our team as well.”
… Charlotte improved to 16-6 this season in games in which the margin between the Hornets and their opponent is within five points in the final five minutes of a game this season.
… At 24-22, Charlotte has a chance to finish with a winning record after 50 games for the first time since the 1999-2000 season; That year, the Hornets were 29-21 and made the playoffs.
… Charlotte also improved to 7-1 against its Southeast Division rivals this season and has clinched three of the four division series with 2-0 leads over Atlanta, Miami and Washington. The Hornets are 1-1 against Orlando and can win that seasonal series in their finale on March 7 at Charlotte. The Hornets have never won the season series over their division rivals in their history; Charlotte was .500 or better aganist all seven Central Division teams in the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons.
… At 11-13 on the road this season, Charlotte has a chance to finish with the franchise’s first winning road record since the 2001-02 season. Charlotte has finished with winning road records only four times – in the 1992-93, 1994-95, 1996-97 and 2001-02 seasons. The 24-17 record in the 1996-97 season is the franchise’s all-time best record away from home.
What’s next: The Hornets continue their six-game road trip on Thursday at Brooklyn at 7:30. The trip continues Friday at Indiana (8 p.m.), Sunday at Boston (6 p.m.), April 7 at Oklahoma City (8 p.m.) and April 9 at Milwaukee (9 p.m.).