Mark Williams scored 21 points and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds, including 12 offensive rebounds, as the Charlotte Hornets opened their pool competition for the NBA in-season tournament on Friday with a 124-117 defeat of the host Washington Wizards.
Gordon Hayward scored 27 points and dished nine assists LaMelo Ball added 25 points for the Hornets.
Charlotte, playing its first game in East Group B of the in-season tournament, dropped Washington to 0-2 in the pool thanks to a big fourth-quarter rally.
The Hornets outscored the Wizards 36-20 in the final period, going on a 17-2 run that proved decisive.
Ball hit two of his 3-pointers during the pivotal run, and he assisted Hayward on another trey.
Hayward, meanwhile, scored eight points in a burst from 3:48 to 1:40 remaining, helping Charlotte to effectively ice the win and snap a two-game losing streak.
Williams did his part in Charlotte’s dominating advantages of 30 second-chance points to just seven for Washington as well as the Hornets’ 74 points in the paint compared to the Wizards’ 54.
Charlotte also got a double-double from P.J. Washington, who finished with 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Seven different Hornets grabbed at least five rebounds, including Nick Richards, who had 15 points and six boards in 18 minutes off the bench.
Kyle Kuzma led eight Wizards scorers in double figures with 17 points. All five Washington starters scored at least 10, which Daniel Gafford reached to go along with his team-high nine rebounds.
Jordan Poole scored 14 points but shot just 1-of-5 from 3-point range, Deni Avdija scored 11 points, and Tyus Jones added 16.
Corey Kispert went 3-for-3 from beyond the arc and 5-for-6 from the floor overall en route to 15 points, leading Washington to a 49-28 edge in bench points.
Landry Shamet added 11 points for the Wizards, and Bilal Coulibaly scored 10 points.
–Field Level Media
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