Beal leads Wizards to 97-83 win over Bobcats

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 7, 2014 at 10:26 pm •  Published: January 7, 2014
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — After a listless first half, the Washington Wizards used a big third quarter run to beat the Charlotte Bobcats

Bradley Beal scored 21 points and the Wizards used a 17-0 run in the third quarter to take control of what had been a close game and beat the Bobcats 97-83 on Tuesday night.

John Wall helped ignite the decisive run. First he dunked off an alley-oop dunk pass from Booker and then when he grabbed a loose ball as the 24-second shot clock wound down and hit a 3-point shot from 35 feet at the shot-clock buzzer.

Of the dunk off the high pass from Booker, Wall said: "We try them in practice sometimes. He'll be thinking he's a point guard sometimes, so I just told him to throw it up and he put it on the money."

Marcin Gortat added 18 points for the Wizards, who improved to 15-17, while Wall contributed 17 points, Trevor Booker 12 and Martell Webster 10.

Gortat added 12 rebounds and also stopped Al Jefferson, holding Charlotte's center to just six points.

"I always feel good playing against Al and it's a huge challenge for me also," Gortat said. "He's a very difficult player to guard and very smart. I remember all the battles back in the West where he played for Utah and I played for Phoenix and we always battled every year for at least four times. I kind of learned to play against him. I know how to play against him and I was really focused."

Gerald Henderson scored a season-high 27 points to lead the Bobcats, but questioned his own defensive intensity -- and that of his teammates on both ends of the court -- in the lackluster defeat for Charlotte, which fell to 15-21 overall and 8-11 at home. Kemba Walker added 19 points and Ramon Sessions was the only other Bobcat to score in double figures with 10.

"Coming into the game, it was a game where we really thought we could get back on track," Henderson said. "We beat Sacramento (on the road) in our previous game, but we just didn't come up with the plays. We got down in the third quarter and couldn't come back.

"We didn't play with a lot of intensity on either end tonight. We lost track of them in that third quarter, and we didn't really play with a lot of force offensively, either. ... I feel like I could have played a lot better defense on Beal and some of their other perimeter players."