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Washington Wizards v Charlotte Hornets

Source: Jacob Kupferman / Getty

LaMelo Ball’s 33 points were not enough to overcome the Washington Wizards, who defeated the Charlotte Hornets 132-116 on Wednesday night.

Kyle Kuzma led six Wizards in double figures with 33, but four of those totals came from the bench, which outscored the Hornets’ reserves, 72-23. Danilo Gallinari & Delon Wright led the Wizards’ bench men with 18 apiece, Landry Shamet had 15 points and Corey Kispert had 12.

The turnover bug once again bit the Hornets as they doubled the Wizards total with 22 giveaways to Washington’s 11, leading 35 points the other way for Washington.

Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford said the game turned when the Wizards went to small-ball lineup, meaning that both Nick Richards’ & Mark Williams’ limitations with guarding on the perimeter become exposed.

“Gallinari when they’ve downsized, we can’t play, Clifford said. “To me to be a surprise team, our center position needs to be a strength. When we have to not play with Mark and not play with Nick, our defense is no shot, and we can’t rebound.”

Clifford said pregame that he wanted to try and limit Ball’s minutes, but the team’s inefficiencies with him on the bench forced him back on the floor with a team-high 36 minutes played.

Charlotte has the second half of their home-and-home on Friday night in the Hornets’ first game of the NBA In-Season Tournament against the Washington in the Nation’s Capital. Pregame coverage begins Friday on Sports Radio 92.7 WFNZ at 6 PM with tip time at 7 PM.