Hornets vs. Wizards Reactions: The good, the bad and the LaMelo Ball

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Charlotte saw an 11-point fourth-quarter lead evaporate as they lost their fifth straight game in Washington on Sunday, falling to the 10th seed in the process, 115-110.

The Hornets took the lead early in the first quarter and controlled the contest for the next two-and-a-half quarters, though it came with runs from both teams. The Hornets lead peaked at 16 points late in the first quarter before the Wizards trimmed it down to single digits midway through the second quarter.

After heading into the locker room up four points, the Hornets quickly pushed the lead to 10 points before it was again brought down to a one-possession game by a Washington run. The Hornets closed the third quarter strong and led by 11 points early in the fourth quarter before Washington’s biggest run of the game.

Fueled by Russell Westbrook, the Wizards went on a 17-4 run to turn a 90-79 deficit at the end of the third to a 96-94 lead. From there, the teams traded leads throughout the fourth quarter.

The Good: Postseason basketball

Sunday's loss was a brutal one, especially paired with each preceding loss in the past week. And rightfully so, as the game itself was a microcosm of the season in many ways. However, the Hornets still are guaranteed playoff basketball, even if only in an abbreviated sense. The last week of games plus the play-in game(s) will teach the Hornets a lot about themselves even before any potential playoff games as well. Keeping perspective considering how far the Hornets have tumbled from earlier in the season is tough. But it's still an overall success this season even with being the 10th seed.

The Bad: Early fourth quarter offense

It's not a new problem but it's one that has plagued the Hornets in recent weeks. Whether it's a matter of rotations or running out of gas, Charlotte has gone ice cold time and time again in the fourth quarter of late. On Sunday, it was a 17-4 run by the Wizards to open the fourth that set the tone. The Hornets struggled to create much offense even after that run down the stretch. It completely negated their blistering start to the game and eventually cost them the game entirely.

LaMelo Ball: Mixed bag of results

LaMelo Ball played 33 minutes on Sunday despite being on the sideline for a good chunk of the first half. However, he finished 7-of-21 from the field and 2-of-8 from the 3-point line for his 19 points. From a counting stats perspective, he also added seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. However, his day was a very mixed bag. He was on the bench in the first half after struggling to make an impact. He turned that around in the third quarter, which led to warranted playing time down the stretch in the fourth quarter as he closed out the game. But he was mostly a bystander late in the game and his one shot of note, a corner 3-pointer to tie the game with 48.2 seconds left, missed badly.

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