WASHINGTON — Kelly Oubre Jr. and Bradley Beal were benched after halftime after a first half that saw the Hornets complete a third-quarter comeback, but Darius Miller scored 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to lead Charlotte over the Washington Wizards, 109-103.
Oubre scored a team-high 24 points and Beal had 24 for the Wizards, who have lost two in a row after winning five straight. It was Miller’s best game of the season, but it was an ugly one after he was pulled from the game in the second quarter, when the game was already out of reach.
The Hornets, who were playing without Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, also received contributions from Kyle O’Quinn and Ersan Ilyasova.
Oubre, who was coming off a career-high 28-point effort in a loss to Utah on Wednesday, got in early foul trouble against the Hornets and was on the bench until the 8:47 mark of the third quarter. Despite the early key infraction, Oubre, Washington’s best weapon to move the ball in the first half, was in for 14 first-half points.
After the game, Oubre, who averages 19.4 points and leads the team in rebounds, took his lumps.
“I take a lot of pride in playing hard,” Oubre said. “Obviously being put on the bench in that situation, it hurts, but it’s just motivation to continue to play hard, try to take that pride and drive me to be better.”
The Hornets trailed by 12 early in the third quarter but outscored the Wizards 17-3 over the next five minutes and took a one-point lead. A late 20-foot jumper by Spencer Hawes put Washington ahead 73-72 but Charlotte scored the next six points, capped by a 3-pointer by Kemba Walker with 2:07 left. With the Wizards defense collapsing, Walker found Kelly Oubre Jr. underneath the basket to put the Hornets back on top.
Miller, who was later called for a flagrant foul on Kelly Oubre Jr., added a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left to put the Hornets ahead for good.
“We needed that big shot,” Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. “It was a 3-pointer and guys didn’t really think that they had a shot at him. He’s confident. He’s not going to shy away from taking that shot.”