Story By: Richard Thomas
Photos By: Sol Tucker
They may be out of playoff contention, but the Wizards are out to prove the season isn’t quite over for them just yet. Today in afternoon matinee, the Wizards showed the playoff bound Hornets what a playoff game could be like in the first round. Only, these two teams won’t face each other and John Wall didn’t get a chance to leave his season ending mark on the Hornets either.
Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Washington Wizards defeated the Hornets 113-98 on Sunday, damaging Charlotte’s chances to secure home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Hornets are 29-14 since mid-January but have now lost three of five.
“We played two months of really, really good basketball and we have two games here to get back to that,” coach Steve Clifford said after his team dropped its third straight road game.
Frank Kaminsky had 18 points and a career-high 11 rebounds and Kemba Walker added 16 points for the Hornets, who shot 34.6 percent (28 of 81) from the field and committed 15 turnovers.
Washington (39-41), which was eliminated from playoff contention with Friday’s loss to Detroit, won despite being without John Wall (sore left knee) for the third straight game and losing leading scorer Bradley Beal (sore pelvis), who left after playing 7:43 in the first quarter.
“I thought our aggression was there right from the start,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “I thought our bigs were much more active than we were in Detroit in the first half.”
Washington has two more games on Monday against the hapless Nets and then back at home on Wednesday night to close out the season against another playoff bound team in the Hawks.
” We will take a good look at a few of these guys and see where things go in the offseason, said Wittman. Seeing one of those things may be whether Wittman is actually a part of this team come the following week after he lost total control of the team during the final 10 game push toward the playoffs.