Charlotte Hornets vs. Washington Wizards Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 22nd 2023

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Charlotte’s fourth-quarter comeback and eventual overtime victory against the visiting Boston Celtics on Monday night were the highlights of the season so far for the Hornets.

The challenge will be doing it again. The first chance for that comes on Wednesday against the visiting Washington Wizards.

“They know this. We talk about it all the time,” Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. “This league isn’t about a great win. This league is about, ‘Can we come back and play well Wednesday and win?'”

At least the Hornets have good vibes compared to the Wizards, who have lost six games in a row since a 132-116 victory at Charlotte on Nov. 8.

More of the pieces appear to be in place for the Hornets, though they remain without injured guard Terry Rozier. Miles Bridges has a new role after working back into the rotation following a suspension, and Gordon Hayward has shown the ability to be an elite player again when healthy.

“It’s not one night,” Clifford said. “Can you put games together?”

The answer for the Wizards seems to be in the negative. They’ve lost their last three games by 13 or more points.

Washington guard Jordan Poole had a season-high 30 points in Monday night’s 142-129 home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. That was an encouraging development for the Wizards.

“That’s some good momentum for him,” Wizards teammate Kyle Kuzma said. “Everybody is behind him. He’s a worker, he loves basketball, very passionate. … I think sometimes he just overthinks himself a little bit.”

Kuzma had a career-high 13 assists Monday for coach Wes Unseld Jr.’s team.

“Made an emphasis looking for my teammates trying to make them feel good,” Kuzma said. “I think our effort was a lot better because offensively we moved the ball. Trying to show everybody if I’m moving the ball, everybody has to move the ball.”

Defense has been a season-long problem for the Hornets, but there were signs of getting some of that solved.

“The second-half defense was the best we’ve played,” Clifford said of the Boston game, pointing specifically to Hayward at that end of the court. “We fought. We hung in there.”

Second-year Hornets center Mark Williams was a plus-33 in the Boston game. He had 24 rebounds in Charlotte’s most-recent game against the Wizards on Nov. 10.

LaMelo Ball led the way against the Celtics with 36 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

On Monday, Bridges replaced P.J. Washington in the starting lineup for the first time since Bridges came off a suspension. He has played three games, though Washington’s role remains prominent.

“His minutes won’t change,” Clifford said. “PJ will play just as many minutes as he was before. They’re going to play together, too.”

This will be the third Wizards-Hornets meeting in a two-week span. Both teams won on the road when they met Nov. 8 in Charlotte and Nov. 10 in Washington. Until Monday, the Hornets had been winless since that game in Washington.

–Field Level Media

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