Unhappy homecoming for road-weary Bobcats

dscott@charlotteobserver.comJanuary 7, 2014 

The Charlotte Bobcats returned from a long road trip Tuesday, just in time to be reminded they’re not very good at home, losing 97-83 to the Washington Wizards at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Wizards (15-17) used a 17-0 run in the third quarter to put away the Bobcats (15-21), who fell to 8-11 at home with the loss.

“We need the energy level and that falls on me,” coach Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said. “Losing is one thing, but to lose because we’re not forceful enough, that we’re sloppy ... falling asleep. That’s losing stuff. You’re not going to win making those mistakes. This league is too close.”

Shooting guard Bradley Beal scored 21 points to lead Washington, which led 43-39 at halftime. Gerald Henderson, who made his first four shots, had 27 for the Bobcats.

The Bobcats were returning from a five-game road trip during which they went 1-4. They had not played a home game since Dec. 27. They’re now 0-6 against teams from the Southeast Division.

Both teams went on runs in the third quarter, but Washington’s was too much for the Bobcats to overcome. The Wizards outscored the Bobcats 17-0 during one six-minute stretch to take a 64-45 lead on a Bradley Beal jumper with 4 minutes, 15 seconds left in the quarter.

But Charlotte scratched its way back into the game after that, outscoring Washington 10-2 over the quarter’s final 3:21 to cut the lead to 66-55 entering the fourth.

The Bobcats’ problems were crystallized on the offense glass, where they managed just three rebounds. Kemba Walker had 19 points for the Bobcats, while center Al Jefferson had six points and 10 rebounds.

Scott: 704-358-5889; Twitter: @davidscott14

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