Trevor Ariza scored 24 points and converted a three-point play with 1.8 seconds remaining, and the injury-riddled Washington Wizards snapped a three-game losing streak with a 130-126 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night.
Ariza came to the rescue after the Wizards nearly blew a nine-point lead in the final 24 seconds. He was fouled on a layup and hit the ensuing free throw to give the Wizards their final four-point victory margin.
The Wizards (14-23) were playing their first game since learning that All-Star guard John Wall would miss the remainder of the season because of upcoming heel surgery. The Wizards were also without Otto Porter (knee), Markieff Morris (back/neck) and Dwight Howard (spinal surgery) because of injuries.
Only eight Wizards played as coach Scott Brooks tightened his rotation. Seven scored in double figures. Thomas Bryant scored 21 and collected 10 rebounds, Tomas Satoransky scored 20, Bradley Beal scored 19, Jeff Green and Sam Dekker 13 each, and Chasson Randle finished with 11.
Kemba Walker was a one-man show for the Hornets (17-18), finishing with 47 points including 22 in the fourth quarter. Walker scored eight points in the final 1:03, and his 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds made it 127-126 Washington before Ariza took a baseball pass from Green and converted it into a three-point play.
The Wizards led by nine at 125-116 with 24.6 seconds left and still had to sweat it out at the end.
Charlotte led by as many as eight early and led 29-27 after one quarter. The Wizards, who shot 51.8 percent from the field, led 67-61 at halftime and 94-92 after three quarters. Washington’s biggest lead came at 74-64.
Charlotte led 105-103 before the Wizards reeled off an 8-0 run, and the Wizards never trailed again. Ariza, who had nine assists, was a big part of that run with a three-point play, and Washington also received a 3-pointer by Satoransky.
The Hornets, who shot 52.2 percent from the field, will return home to host Orlando on Monday. The Wizards will be off until Wednesday, when they will host Atlanta.
—Field Level Media