Wall carries Wizards past Hornets, 99-89

BRETT MARTEL AP Sports Writer Published:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- John Wall hardly seemed fazed by a trade that left the Wizards without their starting center and one of their top scorers.

The Washington reserves who had to step in didn't shy away from their chance to show what they could do, either.

Wall had 26 points and 12 assists, and the Wizards won hours after making a multiplayer deal at the NBA trade deadline, 99-89 over the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday night.

"Today was a chaotic day," Washington coach Randy Wittman said. "It is always tough losing teammates, but that is the nature of the business.

"Bottom line, somebody is going to get an opportunity," Wittman added.

Roger Mason was one such player and scored 17 of his season-high 19 points in the second half to help the Wizards snap a three-game skid and win for only the 10th time this season.

"Our guys found me and they made great passes," Mason said. "I felt really good and was able to knock down some shots."

Chris Kaman scored 20 points for the Hornets, who erased a 16-point deficit and took a brief lead in the fourth quarter, only to watch Mason hit three 3-pointers during Washington's 13-0 run that put the game away.

"We used up so much energy to get back into the game and they hit a couple 3's and got an easy one in transition," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "After that, you feel like you have to hit a home run to get back in it."

Earlier in the day, the Wizards traded guard Nick Young and centers JaVale McGee and Ronny Turiaf to Denver as part of a three team deal. The Nuggets sent Nene to Washington, which also received forward Brian Cook along with a 2015 second-round pick from the Los Angeles Clippers.

McGee was replaced in the starting lineup by Kevin Seraphin, while Mason, who came in averaging only 3.6 points, picked up more minutes in Young's absence.

For this game at least, Mason more than made up for Young's 16.6 points per game, shooting 7 for 9, including 4 for 6 from 3-point range.

Seraphin had 12 points and nine rebounds in only his second start of the season. Jordan Crawford added 17 points and Trevor Booker 14.

Wall was all over the court, hitting 11 of his 16 shots, mostly on layups and dunks, including a couple of alley-oop jams.

"Everybody stepped up and we got a good team win," Wall said. "Lately, we've been playing as a team and playing hard. When (we) do that, we give ourselves a chance."

Wall's ability to push the tempo helped Washington outscore New Orleans 27-6 on fast break points. Wall, Mason and Seraphin, who made five of seven shots, also helped the Wizards outshoot New Orleans 52 percent (39 of 75) to 45 percent (34 of 75).

Williams, who preaches a defense-first philosophy, referred to Washington's shooting percentage and fast-break point total as "ridiculous."

"Couple that with not having your best game as a team and it's a recipe for a loss," Williams said.

Gustavo Ayon tied a career-high with 16 points to go with nine rebounds for the Hornets, who have lost seven of eight and did not make any moves at the trading deadline.

Trevor Ariza added 13 points and Jarrett Jack 11 for New Orleans.

"I hate losing, and we seem to lose almost every time that we step out on the floor," Ariza said. "It's pretty frustrating."

Kaman had 16 of his points during a back-and-forth first half in which each team shot above 50 percent and each led by as many as seven points.

Washington went into halftime with a 56-49 lead after Wall closed the second quarter with a pair of free throws and a fast-break dunk. Those points turned out to be the beginning of a 14-1 run that carried into the third quarter.

Wall's finger roll gave the Wizards a 66-50 lead, and the gap was still at 16 when Crawford hit a floater with 6:50 left in the third period.

Minutes later, however, New Orleans suddenly seized the momentum, starting with Jack's straightaway 3. Ayon followed with a baseline jumper, two free throws and a layup. Then Jack came back with two more baskets to cap a 13-0 run that cut Washington's lead to 70-69.

Mason interrupted the spurt with a 3, and Washington maintained the lead until Ayon finally tied it at 75 early in the fourth quarter. The Hornets briefly regained the lead when Ayon's dunk made it 81-80 with 7:34 to go, but the Wizards dominated after that.

NOTES: The Hornets fell to 0-21 when trailing at halftime and 1-26 when trailing after three quarters. ... Wall now has 10 double-doubles this season and has scored 20 or more 16 times. ... The Hornets, who had won the first five times that Kaman scored 20 or more, have now lost two straight in such games.