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Game Notebook 12, Wizards at Hornets: Stung in The Hive

Hornets 101
Wizards 87

November 25, 2015 – The Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC

ESPN Box Score

“It’s getting late early.” – Yogi Berra.

For 36 minutes of game action, the Wizards kept the Hornets in check. The Hive was not buzzing, and the Hornets were not swarming, and I was not planning to make multiple bee related references.

The Wizards had survived an early binge of missed Ramon Sessions layups and sloppy turnovers to keep contact with the hot-at-home Hornets. And just when things were getting dicey, Gary Neal went all out Professional Apiarist, spraying RAID and raining buckets.

Just like that, the Wizards had opened up an 85-76 lead, and all of us took a deep breathe, knowing the worst was over, as long as the Wizards didn’t put together a historically awful single game stretch of basketball.

That’s when the Hornets stung in killer bee fashion, sending the Wizards into anaphylactic shock, desperately searching for a hero with a shooting touch, an epi pen, and a 25mg Benadryl IV line.

They never found one. The Hornets went on a 25-0 run. The Wizards missed their final SEVENTEEN shots on their way to a historically awful closing quarter.

With that, the Hornets won their seventh consecutive home game, improving to 9-6, while the Wizards fell .500.

Don’t look now Wizards fans, but it’s getting late early. The Wizards are now 4-0 against teams under .500, and just 2-6 against teams .500 or better. Beating up on under .500 teams was fine in previous seasons, when 70 percent of the conference was under .500. But as we stand now, there are currently EIGHT teams in the East sitting above .500, with three others (including the Wizards) right on that line. And none of them are flukes. Paul George and the Pacers aren’t going away. This Hornets team isn’t going away. The Heat, the Hawks, the Raptors, the Bulls. None of them are folding, barring major injury.

Home court isn’t even in the conversation right now. Right now, the question simmering is “are we even getting in?”

Maybe I’m being too grim for the Holidays, but it sure feels like it’s getting late early.

Things to remember from tonight:

Marcin Gortat continued toward finding his rhythm, going 6-for-8, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 boards (4 offensive) and providing this bright moment:

Kris Humphries vs Jared Dudley continues to be unsettled. Hump started, but played 17 minutes to Dudleys 24. Hump shot 1-for-5 from 3. Dud shot 1-for-5 overall. We’ll continue to monitor this developing story.

The Wizards committed just 14 turnovers, but also had only 15 team assists. John Wall had 6 assists, but again had 5 turnovers. This type of assist to turnover ratio is going to get the Wizards nowhere fast.

Fortunately, it’s only November, and we’ve got 70 games to get things right. And that’s certainly something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

#WizHornets in a tweet..

The Game’s Top Performer:

Gary Neal – 18 points; started game 7-7

Gary Neal, again: Once again, Neal carried the Wizards for significant stretch, taking control of the game in the 3rd quarter, catalyzing a run that turned a 5 point Wizards deficit into a 9 point Wizards lead. At one point, Neal was 7/7. He finished the game with 18 points, and proved once again he can supply instant firepower off the bench. He did miss his last 6 shots, but the Wizards missed their last 17 as a team, so we won’t hold this against him.

A forgettable night for..

Everyone Wizards affiliated man, woman, or creature who played, coached, or watched the 4th quarter.

Here’s another look at the Wizards 4th quarter stats:
6 total points.

A 25-0 finish (before 2 FTs at the end).

17 consecutive missed shots.

5% shooting. FIVE.

4 turnovers.

116 diapers used (for all the bed-sh*tting)

Remember the glorious ending of that Spurs game that is going to be almost impossible to top all regular season? Well, this was the Ragged yin to that Dagger yang.

The Vine-lights

John Wall gets the steal and the slam.

Humphries didn’t bite on Kemba’s moves gets rewarded with swat.

Wall with the pretty little finger roll.

John Wall putting out for his Carolina homecoming.

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