- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

John Wall and Bradley Beal combined for 19 of their 45 points in the third quarter, Washington’s highest-scoring period of the season, and the Wizards came back to beat the Charlotte Hornets 109-106 Wednesday night, handing the Southeast Division leaders their third consecutive loss.

Wall, wearing bright orange neon shoes, outplayed Hornets star Kemba Walker, finishing with more points (25-17) and assists (10-9), along with seven steals to become Washington’s franchise leader in that category.

Beal, 0 for 6 in the first half, took over for part of the third, scoring 11 points, mostly via a trio of 3s, and finished with 20 points and a career-high nine assists.

Charlotte did make things interesting, getting within two points after Marco Belinelli stole the ball from Wall, and Cody Zeller made a layup with 10.6 seconds remaining. Wall made one of two free throws a second later for a three-point lead, and Nicolas Batum and Walker both missed 3s that would have tied it.

Walker’s shot circled the rim before dropping out at the buzzer.

In the third, Washington went from trailing by 10 points to leading 79-71 after Wall stripped the ball from Belinelli and fed Otto Porter for a fast-break layup. That capped a 23-5 burst for Washington, part of a 38-23 edge in the quarter.

Washington entered the game at 9-14, fourth in the division behind Charlotte and 12th in the 15-team Eastern Conference. So far, eight of its 10 victories have come at home.

Charlotte (14-12) is 0-3 to start a five-game road trip after losses at Cleveland on Saturday, then at Indiana on Monday.

Batum led the Hornets on Wednesday with 20 points. He had game highs of 14 points and seven assists in the first half, helping Charlotte lead 54-49.

Batum, who turned 28 on Wednesday, entered averaging 7.8 rebounds, No. 2 among NBA guards. He had five against Washington.

Hornets guard Ramon Sessions, who played the last two seasons for Washington, scored four points.

Wall drew a technical — his sixth of the season — for jawing with Belinelli after making a basket in the fourth quarter.

The Wizards’ Markieff Morris was a late scratch because of a sore left foot. Kelly Oubre Jr. started in his place and scored 15 points. Wizards rookie forward Danuel House missed his 10th game in a row with a broken right wrist.

The Wizards wore their “Stars and Stripes” alternate jerseys as part of “Military Appreciation Night” honoring the Air Force.

Center Ian Mahinmi, Washington’s $64 million offseason signing, sat out for the 23rd time in 24 games this season with knee problems, and coach Scott Brooks said Mahinmi would be re-evaluated Friday. Right now, Mahinmi is out with a sore right knee.

“Obviously, we can use his skill set and his defensive toughness and what he brings to our team — veteran experience, leadership — but right now it has to be on hold,” Brooks said. “We just have to be patient. We’d love to have him out there, but we’re not going to put him out there in a situation that he’s not ready. It’s going to happen soon. I just don’t know when.”

The Wizards host the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

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