User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Wizards 96, Hornets 87

WASHINGTON (AP) - Heard the one about the point guard who can't shoot? That's supposed to be John Wall.

Advertisement
Helpless from long range for so long, the Washington Wizards point guard had his best shooting game as a pro Friday night, a night so successful that the names Larry Bird, Jim Furyk and Jason Kidd were kicked around when discussing what went right.

In fact, Wall was in such a good mood following his season-high 29-point performance in a 96-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets that he joked about his beloved Kentucky Wildcats' 16-point loss to Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference tournament.

``We were national champs last year. ... We stunk it up tonight,'' said Wall, who was trash-talking just anybody in the locker room whose school was on the NCAA bubble. ``You see we just lost by 20. I ain't worried about the brackets.''

Wall also doesn't seem to be worried about his jumper, even though his outside touch has been mostly absent since he was chosen No. 1 overall in the 2010 draft. Against the Hornets, however, he went 12 for 15 from the field, including 3 for 3 from 3-point range and 9 for 12 from 13 feet and beyond.

How unusual is that? He entered the game just 3 for 20 from 3-point range for the season, and he was a mere 3 for 42 last season. The only previous time he had made three 3s in a game was a 3-for-7 performance against the Philadelphia 76ers on Nov. 23, 2010, during a rookie season when he took - and missed - the 3 more often, going 34 for 115.

Wall's .800 field goal percentage was his best in any game in which he's taken more than a half-dozen shots. He had a 5-for-6 night against the Milwaukee Bucks last month.

Wall has been shooting better the last few games, and he and coach Randy Wittman agreed that it has a lot to do with confidence - and finding a consistent stroke.

``Larry Bird didn't have the picture-perfect shot, but he shot it the same way every time,'' Wittman said. ``Jim Furyk has the ugliest golf swing in America, but it's the same one over and over again. That's why he's good. John, he's got to make it the same shot. He can't take two different shots.''

Wall claims not to be bothered by his can't-shoot rap.

``You look at Jason Kidd, he didn't start making 3s until late in his career,'' Wall said. ``At long as I can make the mid-range and improve my game and help my teammates out, that's all that matters to me.''

Wall's performance, which included nine assists, brought some electricity to what looked to be a humdrum game between teams all but certainly headed for the NBA lottery. Eric Gordon scored 20 points for the Hornets, who have lost five straight on the road and five of six overall.

``John Wall was disrespected tonight,'' New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. ``We just let him shoot shots like he couldn't make them, and he made us pay.''

Known more of his speed and ball-handling, Wall looked ready for a game of Around the World from the get-go. He made a 19-foot jumper on Washington's first possession and hit from 15, 24, 26 and 23 in the first half alone.

He casually sank a leg-kick fadeaway from just inside the arc late in the third quarter and nodded his head repeatedly after his next one, a 15-foot swish. He scored the Wizards' final six points of the period, with a coast-to-coast, scoop-shot layup and a pair of free throws putting Washington ahead 74-64, the first double-digit lead by either team in the game.

Playing at the faster pace that Wittman likes, Wall had then-season highs of 27 points and 14 assists in a 95-90 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday and put up 23 and 10 in a 106-93 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

``These last two games, I told him, `Take these home and study these,''' Wittman said. ``This is the way, from the pace standpoint, that we have to play.''

Notes: The Wizards hadn't beaten the Hornets at home since March 2, 2008. ... Washington rookie G Bradley Beal (sprained left ankle) missed his sixth straight game, and G A.J. Price (right groin) missed his second in a row. ... Hornets F Ryan Anderson (13 points) returned after sitting out one game with an illness.

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Mejia: Dinero Talks: Midseason Awards
News: Midseason Win Total Update
Durant lifts Warriors past Thunder
George, Pacers rally to shock Kings
Harden, Rockets rip Bucks, 111-92
Pelicans rout Magic, 118-98
Rose powers Knicks past Celtics
Pistons crush Hawks, 118-95
Wizards win 13th straight home game
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
6-0 L2 Days, +1,740 This Season
6-1 Run, 13-4 GPlays, 28-10 Totals
4-0 L4, 23-9 Streak, 8-1 Totals
4-1 L2 Days, +2,086 This Year
3-0 L3 Picks, 17-6 L23 Guarantees
10-3 L13 G-Plays, 7-3 L10 Picks
6 Straight NBA Winners
5-1 Monday, 4-1 L5 G-Plays
10-1 L11, 17-5 L22 Guarantees
5-1 L6, +1,482 Guarantees TY
3-1 L4 Days, 9-4 L13 Guarantees
15-6 L21 Guaranteed Plays
3-1 L4 Picks, 16-7 L23 Totals
8-3 L11 Picks, 5-2 L7 Over/Unders
3-1 NBA Picks Yesterday
8-3 L11 Over/Under Plays
3 Wins in a Row, 8-2 L10 Picks
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks
2016 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 1835
Doc's Sports + 1656
Mark Franco + 1112
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 666
Michael Black + 497
Paul Bovi + 475
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Mark Franco 57 %
Chip Chirimbes 57 %
Doc's Sports 56 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Alex Smart + 1375
Chip Chirimbes + 1249
Kevin Rogers + 940
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 1168
Bill Marzano + 1150
Jimmy Boyd + 476
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mark Franco + 852
Bill Marzano + 738
Jimmy Boyd + 603
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership