Wall’s ability to push the tempo helped Washington outscore New Orleans 27-6 on fast break points. Wall, Mason and Seraphin, who made five of seven shots, also helped the Wizards outshoot New Orleans 52 percent (39 of 75) to 45 percent (34 of 75).
Williams, who preaches a defense-first philosophy, referred to Washington’s shooting percentage and fast-break point total as “ridiculous.”
“Couple that with not having your best game as a team and it’s a recipe for a loss,” Williams said.
Trevor Ariza added 13 points and Jarrett Jack 11 for New Orleans.
“I hate losing, and we seem to lose almost every time that we step out on the floor,” Ariza said. “It’s pretty frustrating.”
Kaman had 16 of his points during a back-and-forth first half in which each team shot above 50 percent and each led by as many as seven points.
Washington went into halftime with a 56-49 lead after Wall closed the second quarter with a pair of free throws and a fast-break dunk. Those points turned out to be the beginning of a 14-1 run that carried into the third quarter.
Minutes later, however, New Orleans suddenly seized the momentum, starting with Jack’s straightaway 3. Ayon followed with a baseline jumper, two free throws and a layup. Then Jack came back with two more baskets to cap a 13-0 run that cut Washington’s lead to 70-69.
Mason interrupted the spurt with a 3, and Washington maintained the lead until Ayon finally tied it at 75 early in the fourth quarter. The Hornets briefly regained the lead when Ayon’s dunk made it 81-80 with 7:34 to go, but the Wizards dominated after that.
NOTES: The Hornets fell to 0-21 when trailing at halftime and 1-26 when trailing after three quarters. … Wall now has 10 double-doubles this season and has scored 20 or more 16 times. … The Hornets, who had won the first five times that Kaman scored 20 or more, have now lost two straight in such games.
By James A. Lyons
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