It's been a rough season for the Charlotte Bobcats, who are entrenched in a nine-game losing streak and look to end the slide Saturday against a Washington Wizards team they have beaten twice already.
The Bobcats' woes continued Friday night in a 116-94 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Not many gave the Bobcats a chance in this one and they were right. Charlotte, though, did win the first quarter by a 29-28 margin, but the Thunder responded by winning the next two periods.
Gerald Henderson scored a game-high 21 points, which was a surprise since All- Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were on the floor. Ben Gordon and Kemba Walker scored 19 and 11 points, respectively, for the Bobcats, who shot 41.2 percent and made only 7-of-23 3-pointers.
A 19-0 run by OKC to start the second quarter changed the landscape of the game.
"We just couldn't keep them from scoring," said Henderson, who has scored in double figures in 15 of his last 17 games. "At one point in the second quarter, we were down 18 and we didn't even really know how we got there."
Bobcats rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had only two points in defeat.
Charlotte is 6-25 on the road and has dropped four straight as the guest.
The Wizards have lost two in a row and four of five games since winning three straight. They fell victim to a hot Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets Friday night.
Williams set an NBA record with nine 3-pointers in the first half and buried 11 of his 16 tries from downtown, finishing with a season high 42 points. John Wall paced the Wizards with 16 points and both Nene and Kevin Seraphin netted 11 in a losing effort.
"Tonight wasn't our night," Wall said. "When you're not making shots and someone (Williams) gets hot, it's tough to stay in the game."
Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal missed his second straight game with an ankle sprain and could miss Saturday's tilt with Charlotte. He is averaging 14.2 points and 3.7 rebounds this season.
The Wizards are winless in two meetings with Charlotte this season, but have prevailed in six of the previous nine encounters with the Bobcats.
Washington is last in scoring with 91.5 ppg, but is one of the toughest on defense, allowing 95.2 ppg. Charlotte is giving up 103.5 ppg, while averaging 93.0 ppg on the offensive side.