Turnovers And A Dose Of John Wall Veto the Charlotte Hornets' Chances in Washington

BY Fansided and Russ Heltman/FanSided via Swarm and Sting • December 15, 2016

John Wall stole plenty of chances from the Charlotte Hornets, and his record-breaking performance was just enough to lift the Wizards to a 109-106 victory.

The Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Hornets have quietly established a budding rivalry over the last few seasons and the latest installment did not disappoint. John Wall stuffed his stat sheet, to say the least, posting a 25 point, 10 assist night. Wall also finished with seven steals, one of which broke the Wizards franchise record for takeaways in a career.

On Charlottes end, Nicolas Batum led the way with 20 points, while adding eight assists in a silky smooth 28th birthday performance. The Frenchman’s scoring partner, Kemba Walker had a solid showing; he poured in 17 points and had a game-tying three-point shot rattled in and out at the final buzzer.

Turnovers Trip Up The Hornets

In the Steve Clifford system, everything comes down to taking care of the basketball.

The Hornets lost sight of that in the nation’s capital.

Charlotte turned the ball over 18 times, seven of which by way of sneaky moves from John Wall. The Kentucky product had an eye for the ball all night, consistently picking times like these to strike.

Other than Wall, it was a lot of the same careless ball control and missed passes that have plagued Charlotte over their three-game losing streak. The Hornets rank third in the league in terms of turnovers per game, but they have given up four more per game over this recent skid. A turnaround in results has to start with an emphasis on ball control; it’s the consistent fuel of the Clifford machine.

Wizards Work The Paint

Charlotte suffocated Washington along the perimeter all game — holding the Wizards to five makes from downtown — the interior defense was another story. The Hornets gave up 56 points in the paints, and plays like these were a common theme.

Marcin Gortat and company consistently found the cracks inside and took full advantage. On top of the poor communication in the half court defensive sets, Charlotte lost the transition battle far too often.

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    Washington scored 20 fast break points, due in large part to John Wall’s thievery. Wall was always quick to ramp up the tempo in transition, leaving the Hornets defense shorthanded in the process.

    Overall, Washington relied on the strength of their star backcourt and rode them to victory.

    Bradley Beal and Wall chalked up a combined 45 points and 19 assists.

    Beal has been under a microscope since signing on as the Wizards highest paid player in the summer, and nights like tonight go a long way in silencing the critics.

    The former Florida player made some key adjustments after struggling in the first half and made a flurry of shots coming out of the locker room. Beal was only the Washington player to hit multiple three-pointers in the game.

    This game in Washington capped off a brutal stretch for the Hornets, who’ve played 18 games in 32 days. They now look ahead to a Friday night showdown in Massachusetts against a reeling Boston Celtics team.



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