Led by 29 points and nine assists from John Wall the Wizards defeated the New Orleans Hornets 96-87 on Friday night. But Wall was far from a one-man wrecking crew. With Bradley Beal and A.J. Price still out of the lineup with injuries the Wizards bench picked up the slack.
Little used Cartier Martin and Kevin Seraphin scored a combined 20 points while Trevor Booker forced New Orleans’ Ryan Anderson into shooting just 1-for-10 from behind the three point arc.
“Chasing him was tough,” said Booker who also grabbed a game high 13 rebounds. “He’s a good shooter. I just tried to get a hand up on him every time he shot the ball.”
Martin entered Friday’s game having shot 1-for-14 from the field in his last four games. The 6’7” guard/forward has struggled to regain his form after missing nearly two months with a knee injury, but against New Orleans he responded by reaching double figures in points for the first time sine Jan. 6.
“Felt good to finally see one go through the hoop,” said Martin who scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting. “Definitely been struggling over the past couple of games coming off the knee injury. Just been trying to stay confident and continue to shoot the ball. My teammates looked for me tonight and I had a couple go down for me.”
With Emeka Okafor and Nene shooting a combined 3-of-13 from the field the Wizards were able to maintain a post presence thanks to the play of Kevin Seraphin. In 17 minutes he chipped in 10 points and battled New Orleans Robin Lopez down low.
“I thought he gave us some solid inside play,” said Wizards coach Randy Wittman. “He only came up with one rebound, but he was putting a body on people; he doesn’t get the rebound, that’s what people always see. I thought he was in there battling with (Robin) Lopez, he was matched up with him. He gave us some solid minutes from the standpoint of us being able to continue to throw the ball inside.”
In the first half New Orleans shot 53 percent from the field. But over the final 24 minutes the Wizards forced the Hornets into 36 percent shooting and that proved to be the difference in the game.
“We’re only as good as our bench,” said Martell Webster who scored 18 points. “And when your bench comes in and plays great basketball we kind of piggy back off that. Keep both units playing strong and aggressive, especially on the defensive end. We’re going to pull out a lot more wins.”