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Even minus key players, Wizards blow out Bobcats
The Washington Wizards used a 21-2 run to start the third quarter Monday and held Charlotte without a field goal for 12:20 in the second half to rout the Bobcats 108-75 and snap a seven-game losing streak — this with No. 1 overall pick John Wall and new acquisition Rashard Lewis sitting on the bench and traded star Gilbert Arenas playing in Orlando.
“These last two games, we’ve run our offense as well as we’ve run it in a couple of years,” Saunders said.
Despite playing hard against Miami, the Wizards folded in the final minute of a 95-94 loss to the Heat. There were no such concerns Monday, as Washington had its first 30-point victory since a 103-72 win over Atlanta in January 2006. Nick Young scored 21 points as all five Wizards starters tallied double figures.
“I can’t remember too many games like this,” Saunders said. “As I said to our players, if you execute, you can still score a lot of points.”
For Charlotte, there weren’t many positives to be taken from this one, the Bobcats’ ninth straight road loss and third blowout in the last five games. Brown said the worst part of Monday’s game was “warmups.”
“(The players) looked totally disorganized,” Brown said. “Flip’s team executed, shared the ball, played hard. That’s what teams are supposed to do, not the way we do it and that’s totally on me. It looked like it was the first day of practice. Maybe it was a pickup team playing against an NBA team and that’s the result.”
In the third quarter, Charlotte managed only Boris Diaw’s layup with 10:13 remaining, setting its franchise low for field goals in a quarter, going 1 of 14 from the floor with nine turnovers while tying a season low with 11 points in the period.
It was the first time the Wizards held an opponent to one field goal in a quarter since April 2008 against Philadelphia.
“We’re just terrible on all cylinders,” Charlotte guard Stephen Jackson said. “Even myself, I played terrible and had six turnovers. As a team we’ve been playing bad. At the end of the day, (the coach’s) job is to prepare us and our job is to go out there and play. He’s one of those coaches that if the team’s not playing well he likes to take the blame. I’m one of the same guys. I’m not playing well.”
Washington took advantage of Charlotte’s cold shooting, as Kirk Hinrich had eight points and seven assists in the third quarter to record his second straight double-double, finishing with 18 points and 11 assists.
“We’re just into (defense),” Hinrich said. “We are communicating much better, that’s the main thing. We are putting ourselves in good positions and when you do that, you have a chance to play good defense.”
In addition to the Bobcats’ offensive woes, they didn’t offer much resistance on defense either, allowing Washington to get off to a hot start in which it scored on 12 of its 14 possessions, the longest shot coming on a Young 10-foot jumper.
“They scored like what, the first 10 times down the court? That was the game,” Brown said.
With his best friend Arenas gone, Young has stepped into the starting lineup and provided the same scoring punch he did when coming off the bench, and his role as an offensive threat should only grow when Wall gets back in the lineup.
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