NBA regular season

Westbrook, Beal star as Wizards escape Hornets to claim 8th seed in East

Westbrook, Beal star as Wizards escape Hornets to claim 8th seed in East

DO-IT-ALL. Russell Westbrook adds another triple-double to his NBA record tally.

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Bradley Beal returns, while Russell Westbrook puts up a triple-double as the Wizards go into the play-in round riding on a winning streak

Bradley Beal made a go-ahead layup with 2:53 remaining as the host Washington Wizards posted a 115-110 win over the Charlotte Hornets to secure the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference on Sunday, May 16 (Monday, May 17, Manila time).

Russell Westbrook collected 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists, while Beal added 23 points in his first contest after a three-game absence for the Wizards.

Robin Lopez posted 18 points and Rui Hachimura had 16 for Washington (34-38), which will visit 7th seed Boston Celtics in the play-in round on Tuesday. Charlotte (33-39), which owns the No. 10 seed, will face No. 9 seed Indiana Pacers on Tuesday in Indianapolis.

After leading 110-109 with 3:12 to play, the Hornets went through a scoring drought for the rest of the game.

The Hornets have a five-game losing streak for the first time this season despite Terry Rozier’s 22 points and LaMelo Ball’s 19 points. Miles Bridges had 17 points, Devonte Graham added 15, Jalen McDaniels notched 13, and PJ Washington and Cody Zeller both finished with 11.

Beal, who is the league’s second-leading scorer, missed his first six shots from the field. In the first half, he was 2-for-11 with three fouls. He shot 8-for-27 for the game.

Charlotte used a 12-0 run in the 3rd quarter to build a 15-point lead. That vanished when the Wizards went up 99-97 on Hachimura’s three-pointer with 7:16 to play.

The Hornets held a 16-point lead in the 1st quarter. The margin was down to 56-52 by halftime as Charlotte cooled off and made only two of 12 attempts from three-point range in the 2nd quarter.

It was a strange start for Charlotte, which has been mostly a sluggish team at the beginning of games. The Hornets were coming off an overtime road loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday, while the Wizards had not played since Friday.

Washington began the 2nd quarter on a 13-4 run.

Charlotte made 22 of 24 free throws in the game. –