WASHINGTON – The Washington Wizards, one of the few NBA teams who can actually call the Charlotte Bobcats a nemesis, did their bit to rectify that notion Saturday night, with Trevor Ariza scoring a season-high 26 points in a 104-87 victory.
The Wizards never trailed and shot 50 percent as they handed the league-worst Bobcats their 10th straight loss, most of which haven’t been competitive. Charlotte has been outscored by an average of 21.5 points during the skid.
But the Wizards had been 0-2 against the Bobcats, dropping both games back in November when Charlotte was actually toying with the idea of a respectable season. Washington has remained near the bottom of the league as well, sitting 13th in the 15-team Eastern Conference.
Kemba Walker scored 29 points for the Bobcats, who were done in by their 5-for-17 shooting from the field in the second quarter. Charlotte did manage to cut a 22-point deficit in the third quarter down to nine early in the fourth, but Ariza made a pair of 3-pointers to restore the Wizards’ comfortable lead.
Nene worked the inside, Martell Webster hit from long range, and backup point guard A.J. Price supplied the assists as the Wizards built the big lead in the second quarter. Nene’s driving one-handed dunk put Washington ahead by 19 on the way to a 59-42 halftime lead.
Webster finished with 20 points, and Nene had 19. John Wall added 13 points and six assists for Washington, and Price contributed six assists. Ariza and Emeka Okafor each had 10 rebounds as Washington controlled the boards 45-32.
Notes: Wall made a 3-pointer for only the second time all season. He’s now 2 for 18 behind the arc. ... Wizards G Bradley Beal missed his third consecutive game with a sprained left ankle. ... The Bobcats played their second straight game without G Ramon Sessions, who is expected to be sidelined two to four weeks with a sprained left knee.