Wizards 104, Bobcats 87

Benjamin Standig, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Trevor Ariza scored 17 of his season-high 26 points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Washington Wizards defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 104-87 on Saturday night, handing Charlotte its 10th straight loss.
The Wizards (20-41) never trailed and led by 17 points at halftime and 22 in the second half as they matched their win total from last season. Martell Webster scored 20 points and Nene 19 as Washington shot 55.6 percent (10 of 18) from beyond the 3-point arc.
Webster made his first four 3-point attempts in the first half before the announced crowd of 16,357. One started a 22-5 second quarter run. Ariza knocked down four of his five 3-pointers after halftime.
Kemba Walker scored 18 of his 29 points in the first half and Gerald Henderson had 17 for the Bobcats (13-50), who have lost 10 straight games by an average of 21.5 points. It will take another eight defeats to match the franchise's longest skid of the season. Considering the results since Thanksgiving weekend, it's not a stretch to believe the Bobcats could equal the unwanted feat.
Charlotte won its two previous meetings against the Wizards, both in November. Since a 108-106 double-overtime win at Washington on Nov. 24, the Bobcats have lost 45 of 51 games. Their last win came on February 19 at Orlando, the Bobcats' first game after the All-Star break.
Emeka Okafor grabbed 10 rebounds as Washington won the battle of the boards 45-32.
John Wall had 13 points and made his second 3-pointer on the season.
Trailing by 21 points with three minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Bobcats threatened to come back with a 19-7 run, briefly pulling the deficit into single digits. Washington regrouped and, spurred on by three 3-pointers by Ariza, jumped back ahead by 21 points.
NOTES: Wizards rookie Bradley Beal missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle. Beal leads Washington in scoring with 14.2 points. ... In their nine previous defeats, the Bobcats lost by an average of 22 points per game. ... Garrett Temple started over Ariza after the swingman replaced Beal in the first two games. ... Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions sat out a second straight game with a left MCL sprain. ... Okafor, the first-ever pick by the Bobcats in 2004, posted six double-doubles in his previous eight games. ... Bobcats guard Walker is one of five NBA players who leads his team in scoring, assists and steals. ... Bryon Mullens scored a season-high 27 points in Charlotte's 108-106 double-overtime win at Washington on Nov. 24. ... Charlotte returns home to host the Celtics on Tuesday. The Wizards play at Cleveland on Tuesday.

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