Rozier, Hornets hold on to beat Wizards 117-116
By STEVE REED
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Terry Rozier scored 25 points, Kelly Oubre Jr. added 22 and the Charlotte Hornets held off a furious fourth-quarter rally by Bradley Beal and the Wizards to hand Washington its fifth loss in the last six games, 117-116 on Friday night.
P.J. Washington had 21 points and Mason Plumlee added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who won despite getting outscored 28-10 in the fourth quarter and failing to score in the final 3:45.
"I don't know if I've seen a game where one team gets outscored 28-10 in the fourth quarter and still wins by one," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. "I'd say that's not something, as crazy as our league is, that happens very often."
Washington trailed by 22 in the second half, but went with a bigger lineup which turned the game as the Wizards began dominating the offensive glass and getting second and third chances.
Beal was a big part of the comeback with 33 points, but the three-time All-Star turned the ball over twice and missed an open jumper in the final minute with Washington trailing by one. The Wizards came up empty on their final four possessions, costing them the game.
"I turned the ball over twice, which can't happen," Beal said. "I had a chance to win the game at the end and it didn't go down."
Beal said after the game he's already put the loss behind him.
"I create amnesia pretty good, and rapidly, so this is behind me," Beal said. "I wish I could have had it, we all do. But we competed and at the end day it's tough to climb out of those holes."
The Hornets put up a season-high 74 points in the first half, taking a 15-point lead into the locker room behind 16 points from Oubre and 15 from Rozier while shooting 52.9% from the field.
Charlotte stretched its lead to 22 in the third quarter but the Wizards mounted a huge fourth-quarter comeback to cut the lead to three with 4 minutes left when Beal knocked down a short pull-up jumper in the lane.
Beal later drove the lane for a reverse layup to trim the lead to one.
Trailing by one, the Wizards had chances on four separate possessions to take the lead in the final minute but failed to do so.
Porzingis missed an open jumper and Beal dribbled the ball off his leg on back-to-back possessions. Then Beal got stripped by Oubre with 35 seconds left.
Even with those mistakes, the Wizards still had a chance to win.
After a Hornets miss, Beal again tried to put the Wizards on top but missed an a 18-foot jumper. Washington corralled the rebound to seal the game with 0.2 seconds left, drawing a collective sigh of relief from the home crowd.
"I think it's headed in the right direction and we're pretty happy," Washington said of Charlotte's third win in the last four games.
Kristaps Porzingis had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards. Corey Kispert added 14 points off the bench.
Kyle Kuzma finished with 14 points for Washington. Kuzma had given the Hornets fits in the previous two meetings this season, scoring 28 points in a 108-100 road win and 20 points in a 106-102 home victory.
Wizards: Shot 26 of 35 from the foul line. ... Outrebounded Charlotte 56-45.
Hornets: PG LaMelo Ball has missed 19 of 22 games this season due to ankle sprains. ... Plumlee, shooting left handed, was 7 of 9 from the foul line.
Wizards: Host Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.
Hornets: Host Milwaukee on Saturday night.
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Updated December 2, 2022