Wizards-Bobcats Preview

The Associated Press

After a winless homestand, the Washington Wizards are hoping to regroup on the road.

The Charlotte Bobcats, meanwhile, return home hoping to get some momentum going.

The Wizards try to avoid a season worst-tying fourth consecutive loss Tuesday night against the Bobcats as these Southeast Division rivals meet for the first time.

Washington (14-17) is still seeking its first win in 2014 after getting outscored by an average of 12.7 points during an 0-3 homestand. Limited to 40.6 percent shooting over that stretch, the Wizards saw their struggles continue Sunday in a 112-96 loss to red-hot Golden State.

John Wall had 14 points and 10 assists but shot 4 of 11, and Bradley Beal matched a season low with nine points on 4-of-15 from the field.

"When you're not making shots, you have to find ways to win the game in different ways," said Wall, whose team was outscored 34-15 in the third quarter. "Playing good defense and getting big stops, get out in transition and try to get yourself an easy shot, but when you're not making shots, you get kind of frustrated."

The Wizards also struggled in the third quarter Friday in a 101-88 loss to Toronto, getting outscored 36-16. Wall was held to 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting in that game.

"Awful," coach Randy Wittman said Sunday. "The third quarter? Until we can learn to play through missed shots and not zap your own energy and the energy of your teammates, we're going to play like that. We're too much right now a team of front-runners."

Wall shared the same sentiment.

"We don't play those first five minutes (of the second half), it's basically goodnight for us," Wall said.

While the Wizards have dropped six of seven at home, they've won four of five on the road as Wall has averaged 23.2 points. Washington is 7-9 as the visiting team after going 7-34 last season.

"This year, we've been winning a little bit more of our games on the road," said Wall, averaging a team-leading 19.7 points. "You just have to find a way to get out of this funk. It's probably a good thing to get away from D.C. and try to find a way to get our chemistry back together."

Charlotte (15-20) snapped a season-worst five-game skid Saturday, winning 113-103 at Sacramento in the finale of a five-game trip. Kemba Walker led five Bobcats in double figures with 30 points and Al Jefferson scored 27.

"It was very important to get this win, but even better because it was my birthday," said Jefferson, who turned 29.

The Bobcats, who shot a season-high 54.2 percent, improved to 6-1 when Jefferson scores at least 22. He averaged 21.2 points and 12.2 rebounds in posting double-doubles in his last five matchups against Washington while with Utah.

While the Bobcats are allowing an average of 95.8 points to rank third in the NBA, they are 27th in scoring at 93.2 per contest.

Charlotte had dropped five straight to the Wizards before taking three of four last season. The Bobcats are 7-3 in the series at home since 2008-09.

Washington is 13-8 when Wall scores at least 15 points compared to 1-9 when he doesn't. He is averaging just 14.2 in nine games against Charlotte, one of his lowest marks against any team.

The Wizards dropped four in a row Nov. 10-16 and Dec. 6-14.

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