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Rozier’s late 3-pointer helps Hornets over Wizards, 109-103

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Terry Rozier scored a season-high 32 points and hit his eighth three-pointer of the game with 12.9 seconds left as the Charlotte Hornets beat the Washington Wizards 109-103 on Monday night.

LaMelo Ball had 28 points and 13 rebounds to help Charlotte win its last six of seven — including two over Washington in the last week.

“I just need to have more days like that,” Rozier said after his best offensive performance of the season.

Rozier had made just 2 of 16 3-pointers over the previous three games and entered Monday shooting 25.3 % from deep on the season — his worst mark since his rookie campaign in 2015-16 when he hit 22.2 %.

Rozier averaged a career-best 20.4 points last season but saw that number dip to 14.7 before Monday’s game.

“I’m never going to doubt myself,” Rozier said. “I never pay attention to my percentages, I just play.”

Montrezl Harrell scored 24 points and had a season-high 18 rebounds for the Wizards, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 17 points, Bradley Beal scored 18 and Kyle Kuzma had 11 points and 13 rebounds.

The Wizards had trailed by as many as 17 in the second half, but used a late 7-0 rally to cut the deficit to 105-103 after a 3 by Caldwell-Pope with 51.6 seconds left.

Miles Bridges then missed a dunk but after a turnover by Harrell, the ball ended up back in Rozier’s hands. Rozier, who made his first six 3s of the night, made his last to finish 8 for 11 from beyond the arc.

“He’s huge for us,” Hornets coach James Borrego said about Rozier’s impact. “He’s in a lot of ways the heartbeat of this team. He hit big shots early and obviously he hit big shots late.”

Charlotte made 15 of 31 three-pointers while Washington, which had a four-game home winning streak snapped, was just 9 of 36.

TIP-INS

Hornets: Improved to 9-1 when leading after three quarters. … Charlotte shot 9 of 15 from 3 in the first half. … Seven different players had at least one steal. … P.J. Washington (left elbow hyperextension) was out.

Wizards: Beal swatted a Ball runner out of bounds in the third. The star guards fist-bumped after the play. … Harrell picked up a technical in the fourth.

FIRST-HALF FINISH

Charlotte went into halftime on a 14-3 run and with a 59-50 lead. Ball had 12 points during that spurt, including two deep 3s, to end up with 17 first-half points.

BOARD DOMINATION

Despite losing, Washington outrebounded Charlotte 77-46. Daniel Gafford joined Harrell and Kuzma with double-digit boards with 10. Harrell had his 18 in just 27 minutes off the bench.

HARSH CRITIQUE

First-year Washington coach Wes Unseld Jr. has the Wizards off to a surprising 11-6 start but pulled no punches postgame when evaluating his performance. He said he was “outcoached” after losing to Charlotte for the second time this season.

OFF-DAY ACTIVITY

Washington WR Terry McLaurin was sitting courtside and received loud cheers when shown on the video board during the first quarter. McLaurin caught five passes for 103 yards and a touchdown Washington’s win at the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

TIME TO GO-GO

Washington Fs Rui Hachimura (personal) and Davis Bertans (left ankle sprain) were assigned to the G-league affiliate Capital City Go-Go on Monday. Unseld Jr. said Bertans, who is averaging 6.1 points and shooting 33 % from 3 in seven games, would travel on the team’s upcoming four-game trip. He last played in a 118-111 loss at Atlanta on Nov. 1. Hachimura has yet to play this season after averaging 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 57 games in 2020-21.

UP NEXT

Hornets: At Orlando on Wednesday.

Wizards: At New Orleans on Wednesday.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

By BOBBY BANCROFT
Associated Press

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