Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Wizards 113, Nets 107
By Mike Mazzeo
NEW YORK -- Brook Lopez returned to the lineup, but the Brooklyn Nets were outplayed in their 113-107 loss to the Washington Wizards Wednesday night at Barclays Center.
What it means: The Nets (9-16) just didn’t seem to want this one. The Wizards beat them on the glass -- winning the rebounding battle, 51-31 and snagging 19 offensive boards -- and from downtown, going 12-for-20 from 3-point range (9-for-12 in the first half). Nets coach Jason Kidd was so desperate for rebounding that he turned to seldom-used forward Reggie Evans in the third. Evans was ineffective.
Defensively, the Nets looked discombobulated, failing to close out on open shooters and struggling with their pick-and-roll coverage. Brooklyn trailed by as many as 12. The Nets would get within one late but couldn’t get over the hump. Marcin Gortat had a huge offensive rebound and putback with 1:35 left to give the Wizards a 103-100 lead, and Bradley Beal delivered the dagger -- a 3 that made it 106-100 with 1:07 remaining.
The Nets are 0-12 when giving up more than 100 points in a game.
Lopez, who missed the past two games due to a sprained left ankle, finished with 22 points and five rebounds. He did not play the final 10:11 of the third quarter after picking up his fourth foul.
Paul Pierce, who came off the bench for the fifth straight game, had a season-high 27 points on 10-for-12 shooting in 35 minutes. He made his first seven shots. Joe Johnson followed up his 37-point game with 20 points.
Deron Williams had a season high-tying 13 assists to go with 15 points but was frequently beaten on defense by a driving John Wall (21 points, six assists). Williams is now 3-5 in his career against Wall. Wall had two huge defensive plays on his counterpart in the fourth, a steal and layup and then a block.
Up next: A day off Thursday, followed by a game in Philadelphia against the 76ers Friday night.