The Washington Wizards fell Monday in a 119-114 road loss to Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Bobcats. Washington held a 111-106 lead late in the fourth quarter yet gave up a 13-3 Charlotte run in the final three minutes of play. Walker scored 6 of his 18 points in that pivotal stretch, as the Wizards struggled due to foul trouble and turnovers.
Wizards point guard John Wall started off-tempo Monday with two early first quarter fouls. Washington, as a team, did not play with the same fire as a result. Wall rallied the Wizards in the fourth quarter--as he scored 8 of his team-high 25 points--but Washington never found the defensive stops or offensive rhythm which propelled them Saturday in a dominating victory over the Phoenix Suns.
Wizards forward-guard Martell Webster settled for a mere 12 points Monday after recording a career-high 34 points Saturday versus the Suns. Webster scored only 3 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter. He missed three three-point attempts before a make with a minute left in regulation. Webster's bucket resulted in Wall's fifth assist of the night after a 17 points, 11 assists double-double against the Suns, a cry short of the play which earned Wall "Player of the Week" honors from Monday, March 11, through Sunday, March 17.
The Wizards ended up with only 2 fast break points by halftime against the Bobcats and finished with 17. If Wall can protect the ball and avoid early fouls he should be able to get Washington on track early tonight against Phoenix. The Wizards will also need better play from their bigs. Nene suffered his fifth foul with just under seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, which proved to be a major blow. Washington subbed in Kevin Seraphin throughout the fourth and Seraphin committed four fouls in just under five minutes. Charlotte earned 14 fourth quarter attempts from the free throw line, a plus-ten advantage, as a result of Washington's poor defensive play.
Washington will hope for a return to success tonight as they face Phoenix in their second and final meeting with the Suns (10:00 p.m. ET, CSN).