(Sports Network) - Even though they're out of the playoff loop, the Washington
Wizards can still give teams a hard time.
In a battle between a pair of teams booking early vacation, the Wizards will
host the New Orleans Hornets Friday night at the Verizon Center. Washington is
unbeaten in its last three home games and opened a three-game stand with
Wednesday's 106-93 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
John Wall posted his second double-double in a row with 23 points and 10
assists, and Martell Webster added 20 points for the Wizards, winners in two
of their last three overall. Trevor Ariza finished with 14 points off the
bench, while Nene had 13 points and 13 rebounds in the win.
Washington had a big lead at halftime (60-44) and overcame a rough third
quarter (34-15) with a 31-15 margin in the final frame. Webster discussed what
triggered the Wizards' big fourth quarter.
"Coach (Randy Wittman) really got on us, he was screaming at us, like a father
would to his children," said Webster, who's averaging 19.0 points the past
three games. "The message we took was we have to play better. We can't keep
doing this to ourselves. We put our foot down right there. That's when we
decided to get back in the game."
Trevor Booker finished with 13 points and 12 boards in the triumph. Wall is
averaging 19.0 points, 7.7 assists and 4.8 rebounds in his last six games and
Nene is posting numbers of 14.4 points and 8.0 boards in that span.
The Wizards, who have a 16-17 home record and are 6-6 as the host versus the
West, are only 21-42 this season, but have been consistently stingy on
defense, allowing 95.0 ppg (sixth best).
Washington closes out the homestand Saturday with a visit from Phoenix. In
injury news, rookie Bradley Beal (ankle sprain) is doubtful against the
Hornets and Ariza (illness) is listed as questionable. Beal is averaging 14.2
ppg and has missed five games in a row.
New Orleans is averaging 94.5 ppg and kicked off a three-game road trip
Tuesday in a 108-98 setback to the Brooklyn Nets.
Eric Gordon scored 21 points and rookie Anthony Davis registered a double-
double with 17 and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, who have dropped four of five
and four straight as the guest. Robin Lopez and Greivis Vasquez scored 15
points apiece in the loss. Vasquez had 14 assists as well for his 24th double-
"Any time we're down we always give ourselves a chance to fight back," Davis
said afterward. "We have to come out from the beginning and go."
Davis leads all rookies in double-doubles with 15.
Hornets forward Ryan Anderson is second on the team with 16.7 ppg and is
questionable Friday because of an illness. He did not play in Brooklyn.
New Orleans is 10-23 away from the Big Easy and still has Minnesota to visit
on the road swing. The Hornets dropped a 77-70 home decision to Washington on
Dec. 11 this season, but have won the last three in D.C.
The Sports Network