WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Washington Wizards wanted to win this one
for coach Eddie Jordan.
Jordan was back on the sidelines for the Wizards after missing
two games recovering from a blood clot in his left leg that
hospitalized him on Thanksgiving, and Washington beat his former
team, the New Jersey Nets, 95-68 on Wednesday night.
"It's great having him back," said Gilbert Arenas, who had a
season-high 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lead the
Wizards to their fifth victory in six games.
Jordan missed the Wizards' 116-114 overtime loss Friday at
Philadelphia and a 114-109 overtime victory Sunday at Toronto.
"We tried our best to get two wins while he was away, but we
could only get one," Arenas said.
Even with a 22-point, fourth-quarter lead, Jordan said he never
felt comfortable until the final horn sounded in the Nets' sixth
consecutive road loss.
"You saw that we had our two starting guards in there until the
last minute and a half," Jordan said. "I wasn't comfortable, I
really wasn't. Our bench played up to a certain point and then I
put our (starting) guys back in to close it out."
The way New Jersey was playing, it probably wouldn't have
mattered. The Nets made a franchise-low 20 of 64 field-goal
attempts (31 percent) and 27 of 45 free throws (60 percent). They
also tied their franchise low with seven assists. The Nets' 68
points were the third-lowest amount the Wizards have allowed in
"That's not the kind of performance we expect from ourselves,"
Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "I don't know what to say.
Obviously, we got what we deserved tonight."
"Tonight we just didn't have it," Jason Collins said. "We
still have a lot of things on this team that we need to fix."
The Wizards also welcomed back forward Kwame Brown, who played
for the first time this season after having surgery Aug. 3 to
repair a broken bone in his right foot. His first jumper of the
season gave the Wizards a 57-42 lead with 8:28 remaining in the
Brown opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back buckets and
finished with six points and two rebounds in 14 minutes before
being ejected, along with New Jersey's Collins, for an altercation
with 6:48 left in the game.
"He looked sharp at some points of the game," Jordan said of
Brown. "You can see him still have a little bit of a limp because
mentally he is still favoring the leg. I want him to be active. I
want him to be our first post-up option, to get his legs under him
and earn more minutes."
Reserve Anthony Peeler scored seven straight points early in the
fourth quarter to keep Washington comfortably ahead.
Arenas scored seven points in the Wizards' 11-3 run as they took
an 18-12 lead late in the first quarter.
New Jersey took a 7-0 lead while the Wizards missed their first
The Nets lost Zoran Planinic with six minutes remaining in
the second quarter with a broken left hand. Nenad Kristic also went
to the locker room after injuring his right knee with 1:49 left.
After the game, Kristic said he was OK. ... The Nets' 39 first-half
points matched the season-low the Wizards have allowed in a half.