WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Wizards are one of the few NBA teams who can actually call the Charlotte Bobcats a nemesis, and that's nothing to brag about.
So the Wizards had no problem finding the motivation to become the latest team to beat up on the worst club in the league. They never trailed Saturday night in a 104-87 victory, Charlotte's 10th straight loss.
"They beat us two times on the season," said Nene, who scored 19 points, "so we needed to step up."
Trevor Ariza scored a season-high 26 points as Washington shot 50 percent against a team that hasn't played very much competitive basketball lately. The Bobcats have been outscored by an average of 21.5 points during the 10-game skid.
But the Wizards had been 0-2 against the Bobcats, dropping both games back in November when Charlotte was actually toying with the idea of a respectable season. Washington has remained near the bottom of the league as well, sitting 13th in the 15-team Eastern Conference.
"Don't talk to me about slumps," Washington coach Randy Wittman said. "I don't want to hear anything about that. We've all been there. I've been there, you've been there. It doesn't matter who we're playing, Charlotte, Brooklyn, it doesn't matter. I don't want these guys looking at 'This is a team that is struggling.' We've got to take care of business our way, and I thought we did that tonight."
Kemba Walker scored 29 points for the Bobcats, who were done in by their 5-for-17 shooting from the field in the second quarter. Charlotte did manage to cut a 22-point, third-quarter deficit down to nine early in the fourth, but Ariza made a pair of 3-pointers to restore the Wizards' comfortable lead.