March 31, 2018 / 9:52 PM / 24 days ago

Wall returns, Wizards clinch playoff spot with win over Hornets

EditorsNote: Updates to note clinched playoff spot

Otto Porter Jr. scored 26 points and Bradley Beal pitched in with 22 points as the Washington Wizards defeated the Charlotte Hornets for the first time this season, winning 107-93 on Saturday afternoon at Capital One Arena in Washington.

With the win, the Wizards (42-34) officially clinched a playoff spot. The Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks sit just a game back in the seventh and eighth spots in the Western Conference, but ninth-place Detroit (35-40) is well out of striking distance.

Porter, who also pulled in a team-best 11 rebounds, and Beal each made six 3-point shots, combining to go 12-for-18 from long range.

John Wall, who played in his first game since Jan. 25 after a knee injury, scored 15 points and 14 assists and Mike Scott also added 15 points for the Wizards, who won for only the second time in their last six outings. They play their next three games on the road, beginning Sunday at Chicago.

Washington used a big third quarter, outscoring Charlotte 37-23 during that stretch to grab control of the game.

Dwight Howard’s 22 points and 13 rebounds paced the Hornets, while rookie Malik Monk provided 17 points off the bench. Willy Hernangomez chipped in 11 points with nine rebounds, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marvin Williams both scored 10 for Charlotte, which lost its second in a row after a four-game win streak.

Hornets guard Kemba Walker, in his first game since becoming the franchise’s all-time leading scorer earlier in the week, was held to seven points on 3-for-9 shooting from the field (1-for-6 on 3-pointers).

Charlotte won the three previous meetings with the Wizards this season, including by 17 points in February in Washington.

The Wizards built a 92-77 lead, but then went almost 4-1/2 minutes without scoring. Charlotte closed the gap only to nine during that span.

Washington ended up 18-for-39 on 3-point attempts compared to Charlotte’s 6-for-23.

Washington was without Markieff Morris because of illness. The Hornets played without Jeremy Lamb because of a left foot injury.

The Hornets shot 54.3 percent in the first yet, trailed for an extended stretch before clutching a 51-50 halftime lead.

Charlotte was hurt by 11 first-half turnovers, finishing with 17 giveaways.

The Wizards made eight first-half 3-pointers to make up for 41.8-percent shooting overall from the field.

—Field Level Media

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