Nets at Wizards Final Score: Washington’s bad habits reappear in 115-104 loss to Brooklyn, snapping their 3-game winning streak

Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell combined for 48 points Friday night as the Nets take down the Wizards, 115-104, snapping Washington’s 3-game winning streak. Dwight Howard turned in his best performance in a Wizards’ uniform with 25 points and 17 rebounds but it wouldn’t be enough on a night where Washington’s poor habits reappeared.

When the Wizards play focused and inspiring defense, good things happen. In the first quarter, Washington was able to limit Brooklyn to tough shots, got a bunch of deflections, and turned turnovers into points on the other end. As a result, the Wizards were up 30-26 after the first period.

Things began unraveling in the second quarter but the wheels fell off in the second half. Washington reverted back to playing lazy and lethargic defense and relinquished 13 offensive rebounds to Brooklyn as the Nets used a 16-3 run midway through the third quarter to open this game up.

Washington trailed by as many as 18 points in this one but dug themselves too deep of a hole as they never cut Brooklyn’s lead to single digits after that run.

Washington loses 115-104 and all of the good things that the Wizards did during that 3-game winning streak are now a distant afterthought.

Dwight Howard has his best game as a Wizard

There’s something about the Nets that brings out the best in Dwight Howard. Last year he turned in a 30-30 game against this squad and tonight, he had 25 points to go along with 17 rebounds in just 27 minutes of play. Howard started the game with 11 points and five rebounds in the first quarter and it looked like he would be in for a huge night.

However, foul trouble in the first half limited his minutes and the big man fouled out in the fourth quarter after logging just 27:20 of playing time or he likely would have had an even bigger night.

Many thought (including myself) that Howard was going to be a headache this year. He has been a pleasant surprise this year to what has become a dumpster fire of a start to the season. More often than not, it’s Howard who’s bringing the most effort defensively but more importantly, bringing a positive attitude to a doormat team.

Howard has a player option at the end of this season and at the rate things are going, he’ll likely be in a position to test the free agency waters.

It’s time for a change at the power forward position

Inserting Jeff Green into the starting-five may not be the answer, however, starting Markieff Morris certainly is not. Morris turned in another dud of a game with just four points and two rebounds. Morris had two lazy turnovers (one right after a timeout) and both resulted in Brooklyn points on the other end.

Morris will turn in a 20-point performance once in a blue moon but the lazy performances like we saw tonight are more the norm. Morris looks very slow out there and quite frankly, doesn’t really look interested in playing.

It’s long overdue, however, it’s time for a change at the power forward position.


Nets at Wizards final score: Washington blows 23-point lead, hangs on to beat Brooklyn in OT, 119-113

John Wall comes up big with two pull up jumpers in overtime as the Wizards hang on to beat the feisty Brooklyn Nets, 119-113. All five Wizards starters plus Kelly Oubre scored in double figures led by Bradley Beal with 24 while John Wall wasn’t far behind with 23 points.

Washington raced out to an early lead and led by as many as 23, 57-34, midway through the second quarter in what looked like might be an easy victory. However, an easy victory for this team would be way too off-brand.

Overtime aside, the Nets outscored the Wizards 68-48 as Washington forgot that they play two halves in the game of basketball.

With just seconds remaining, Spencer Dinwiddie missed a three-pointer however the ball was tipped back to Quincy Acy who knocked down the three-pointer tying the game at 107 as we’d go to overtime.

John Wall took over in the overtime period assisting Gortat for a floater in the lane to get things started and finding Bradley Beal on consecutive possessions for open jumpers as the Wizards took a 114-109 lead.

Wall would later ice the game with two midrange jumpers as Washington hangs on in a nail-biter, 119-113.

Once again, Washington can’t put away from an inferior team

You hold your breath every time the Wizards play a sub .500 team because you’re not quite sure how they’re going to come out to play. However, Brooklyn is a different type of team. Their record wouldn’t indicate it but they have some nice young talent on their squad, make all of the hustle plays, and are never out of a game as they shoot a ton of three-pointers.

The Nets went 6-12 from three-point range in the fourth quarter to erase the deficit and probably would have come up with the win if not for a slow start and a couple of errant plays late in the game.

As mentioned, Washington held a 20-point lead for the majority of the first half but forgot to come out of the locker room tunnel in the second half. Lazy plays on defense, not boxing out, and nine second-half turnovers allowed Brooklyn to fight back in this one.

For the second time in as many nights, they barely beat a team that they were clearly better than. They have obviously not learned their lesson yet that playing down to your level of competition can come back to haunt you.

Marcin Gortat shows out on Polish Heritage Night

Marcin Gortat was terrific tonight scoring 16 points to go along with 13 rebounds on Polish Heritage Night. The Polish Hammer started the night 4-4 from the field and was grabbing every rebound in sight.

In the overtime period, he knocked down his first jumper in the lane and set many terrific screens to get Beal wide open on the wing for good looks.

Gortat’s hot start and consistent play down the stretch was one of the main reasons Washington was able to sneak out with a victory.

The House of Guards takes over in overtime

Wall and Beal combined to score nine of the Wizards 12 overtime points as they pulled away in the extra period. Wall found Beal on the wing who shook free for an open look that he buried. Next time down, Wall found Beal again, this time for three and he buried that too stretching the Wizards lead to five, 114-109.

After two Jarrett Allen free throws, John Wall got to his elbow and knocked down a nice jumper. The next time down, he crossed over, this time knocking down the jumper over Allen Crabbe to ice the game.

It would have been nice if this game never went into overtime, however; Washington’s two biggest stars came up big when it mattered most.

Next Up: Washington hosts Milwaukee on MLK Day Monday afternoon in their final game of this homestand.

Waal, Beal, and Porter combine for 74 as the Wiz top the Nets in overtime, 114-110.

The new “Big-3” of Wall, Beal, and Porter combine for 74 points as the Wizards hang on to beat the Nets in overtime, 114-110. Marcin Gortat notched another double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds while Jason Smith was a spark off the bench with 15 points as the Wizards are again, 10 games over .500 at 31-21.

In what was thought to be a potential letdown game after the disastrous loss against the Cavs, the Wizards came out hungry and took an early 10 point lead. Bradley Beal scored 14 points in the period while Wall added seven assists as the Wizards led 31-22 after one.

The Wizards were able to stretch the lead to 13 at one point during the second quarter but the Nets would counter with a 9-0 run. Washington was able to regain control late in the period as they led 59-49 at halftime on 55 percent shooting.

The dead legs kicked in in the second half for the Wizards. Washington missed five of their first six shots to start the half and went 5-17 to start the quarter as the Nets were able to trim the lead to two.

Whenever it looked like Washington would pull away, Brooklyn had an answer. Former Wizard, Trevor Booker, was a monster on the offensive end with several athletic finishes around Wizard defenders. The hangover from the game before kicked in as the Wizards started throwing errant passes and kept missing open field goals. This game would be tied up at 100 at the end of regulation as we’d head to overtime.

In the overtime period, the Wizards relinquished their lead. However, three key offensive rebounds and putbacks from Porter helped Washington take the lead while their free throw shooting secured the victory.

It wasn’t pretty, but Washington survives a potential letdown game, 114-110.

Washington survives

After the game against Cleveland just two days ago, one would wonder how much tenacity Washington would have going up against the worst team in the NBA. To start the game, the Wizards looked focused and energized. However, as the game went on, the Wizards started missing open shots that they usually make and began committing silly turnovers. It didn’t bite the Wizards this time but against a better team, they would have lost.

Can’t blame ’em though, cause a win is a win.

Ian Mahinmi returns

Mahinmi returned for the Wizards for the first time since December and played how you think a guy recovering from a knee surgery would play. He was active on the defensive end but was a step slow on defense evidenced by his three fouls in 12 minutes. Mahinmi shows promise as he’s another 7-footer that can come in and protect the rim. He still has a long ways to go offensively however, he did grab five rebounds in his limited action.

Wizards knock down 14 three-pointers, beat the Nets, 118-113.

The Wizards trailed by 15 at halftime and looked dead in the water. But big second halves from John Wall and Bradley Beal propelled a comeback as the Wizards beat the Nets, 118-113 for their second road win of the season. Seven Wizards players scored in double figures led by John Wall with 25 points and 13 assists. Bradley Beal got off to a slow start but ended the game with 18 points while Marcin Gortat notched yet another double-double with 10 points and 12 assists as the Wizards go 1-2 on this three-game road swing.

Both teams started this game shooting hot. The Nets were able to distance themselves in the second quarter as they utilized a 14-4 run to stretch the lead to 10 and as big as 15, 66-51 as the Nets led at halftime.

The Wizards had an excellent start to the third quarter with some easy buckets around the rim from Gortat and two three-pointers from Otto Porter as the Wizards opened the quarter on a 14-0 run.

Kelly Oubre had another nice game with 10 points on 2/5 shooting from three-point range and none bigger than the one at the end of the third quarter as the Wizards regained the lead 83-80.

The game remained close for the entire fourth quarter as the team alternated buckets. The Nets were able to take the lead 100-98 midway through the fourth quarter but the Wizards never flinched. Wall hit several tough shots down the stretch as well as Beal as the Wizards would hang on for an 118-113 victory.

Wizards let it fly from 3

The Wizards shot 34 three-pointers tonight connecting on 14 of them, both season-highs. The Nets, not the Wizards are known for letting the long ball fly but tonight, the Wizards wanted to get in on the action. Six Wizards players made three-pointers tonight led by Otto Porter who was 4/5 from distance. Beal was 3/8 from distance and the bench combined to make six three-pointers. Three-point shooting was an issue for this team early in the season; they look to be turning the corner.

Wizards turn the Nets over 21 times

The Wizards turned the Nets over 21 times including 17 steals. Markieff Morris had four steals for the Wizards, with all of them coming in the third quarter. The Nets aren’t a great team when it comes to taking care of the rock but give the Wizards credit, they stepped up towards the end of the game and came up with big stops and steals. The Wizards turned the 21 turnovers into 35 points.

Another great game for John Wall

John Wall pitched a near perfect game with 25 points, 13 assists, and three steals. He looked to be more energized on the defensive end tonight and came up with two big steals at pivotal moments. Wall has become more comfortable with this no-look flip pass and it’s resulting in easy buckets. Look to see it more often.

A way too early ranking of the Eastern Conference

Last week we took a look at how the teams stack up early in the Southeast Division.

Now let’s see how the entire Eastern Conference stacks up now that free agency is in the rearview mirror.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs just won the championship. Cleveland just re-signed LeBron James to a three-year deal. Not much else to discuss here. Let’s keep moving.

2. Toronto Raptors

The Raptors are here by default. After making their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance in team history, the Raptors are looking to build on that momentum to carry them even further. They re-signed All-Star DeMar DeRozan to a five-year $145 million dollar year to keep the dynamic backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeRozan intact.

Bismack Biyombo played out of his mind during the playoffs earning him a large payday but with the Orlando Magic. Many think that Biyombo’s departure could potentially set the Raptors back. I disagree. Biyombo is a backup center and a rim protector. He averaged 5.5 points and eight rebounds during the regular season but those numbers jumped 6.2 points and 9.4 rebounds during the postseason. Biyombo is a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end but is very limited on the offensive end. He’s a classic energy guy who happened to explode on a national stage at the right time. Yes, they’ll miss his defensive presence and shot-blocking; it’s just, I don’t think that’s enough to set the entire team back.

The Raptors replaced Biyombo with the acquisition of Jared Sullinger. As a starter last season, Sullinger averaged 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds for the Celtics. However this year, he’s expected to come off of the bench for the Raptors. Sullinger’s playing style is the opposite of Biyombo. Sullinger is shorter in stature but throws his weight around to gain position in the paint. Sullinger can stretch the floor and is effective in doing so as he shot 44.1 percent from shots 5-9 feet from the basket and 44.9 percent on shots 20-24 feet from the hoop.

He isn’t a great three-point shooter but is capable of knocking them down as he shot a modest 28.2 percent from distance last season which is better than most centers.

The Raptors did what they had to do to stay at the top of the Eastern Conference. They may not scare Cleveland, but keeping DeRozan and other key players intact will make them a force to be reckoned with next season.

3. Boston Celtics

The Celtics return four of their five starters from last season. They upgraded at the center position in acquiring Al Horford to fill the void left by Jared Sullinger. Although Horford is 30 years old, the former All-Star is an instant upgrade over Sullinger as he averaged more points (15.2), shot better from the field (50.5 percent), and shot better from three-point range (34.4 percent).

Plug in rookie Jaylen Brown and now the Celtics have another long wing to go alongside Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Jonas Jerebko, and Gerald Green.

Additionally, according to, the Celtics are projected to have the easiest schedule in the league next season.

This team still lacks an “alpha dog” as I don’t believe Isaiah Thomas has reached that level yet. However, they still have a very good roster and one of the top coaches in the NBA. The arrow continues to point up for this team.

4. Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers didn’t get much publicity but positioned themselves very well for next season. The Pacers upgraded at point guard acquiring Indianapolis native Jeff Teague from the Atlanta Hawks in a three-team trade. Teague and Hill shot almost identical shooting percentages from three-point range and from the field, however,Teague averaged more points (15.7) and assists (5.9).

Us Wizards fans know that Ian Mahinmi is now gone from the Pacers. The Pacers seem very pleased and confident to move forward with second-year player Myles Turner at center and they also signed a Swiss Army Knife player in Thaddeus Young.

The Pacers secured up the center position with Al Jefferson and it’s very clear that Paul George is back to his superstar ways. The Pacers do have a new coach in Nate McMillan to get used to, however; this team looks poised to take a step forward after getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

5. Detroit Pistons

The Pistons bring back essentially the same roster that they had last season after re-signing All-Star center Andre Drummond. In somewhat of an under the radar move, the Pistons acquired Boban Marjanovic from the Spurs to play the backup center position. He is still somewhat of an unknown as he didn’t get too much playing time in San Antonio, however, he’s coming from the best culture in the NBA and will practice against one of the best centers in the NBA in Andre Drummond.

Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris will now have the entire offseason to get acclimated with the team rather than learning on the fly in just 30 games prior to the postseason. The Pistons have a nice core of players and young guys such as Stanley Johnson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who should continue to get better with time.

Expect a big step forward from the Pistons this season.

6. Charlotte Hornets

The losses of Jeremy Lin, Al Jefferson and Courtney Lee sting; No doubt about it. But as Kemba Walker enters his sixth NBA season, I feel that he’s on the verge of a breakout year. Walker scored a career-best 20.9 points last season. After getting snubbed from the All-Star game, Walkers’ numbers ballooned to 25.2 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.6 rebounds in the three weeks afterward. Walker has had his superstar moments evidenced by his 52-point game against the Jazz last season. We’ve seen Walker perform at All-Star levels in stretches; now’s the time where he does it for an entire season.

Outside of Walker, the Hornets kept many key guys intact by re-signing Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams. With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist still around along with young, fresher guys in Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky, and Jeremy Lamb to round out the roster. That’s enough to make the Hornets the early favorites to win the Southeast division.

7. Washington Wizards

The Wizards return their starting five (after the All-Star game) from last season. The big X-factor this season will be Bradley Beal. Will he stay healthy? That’s the $128 million dollar question. Although he feels his injury woes are behind him, the elephant in the room will remain until Beal proves that he can stay healthy as the four-year player averages just 62 games played per season in his short four-year career.

Another uncertainty for the Wizards is Otto Porter’s development. He has continued to develop over the past three seasons, however if the Wizards are going to be relevant in the playoff race again, they’ll need Porter to take yet another step forward. He needs to continue to increase his scoring as the front office is all in on him and Kelly Oubre at the small forward position.

John Wall on the mend from knee surgery and Bradley Beal’s health are a constant question mark, so if Porter can take on more of a scoring load for this team early; that will pay dividends down the road.

8. Miami Heat

Let me preface this by saying this ranking assumes Chris Bosh DOESN’T play next season.

The Heat lost key players in Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, and Joe Johnson to free agency. That hurts. The team will now be counting on Goran Dragic, Hassan Whiteside and up and comer Justice Winslow to carry the torch for this team.

The Heat should be just fine defensively as Eric Spoelstra is known for his defensive schemes however the offense is another question. Hassan Whiteside is limited offensively, the team replaced Wade with Dion Waiters, but will count on Goran Dragic to carry the scoring load. Dragic has averaged 20 points for a season just once in his career and if the Heat are going to be competitive this year, he’ll need to do that again.

The wildcard here is Chris Bosh. As mentioned, Bosh has been dealing with blood clots over the past two years causing him to miss 67 games over the past two seasons. If Bosh is cleared to play and can stay healthy, that should be enough for the Heat to make the playoffs. If he can’t, the Heat will probably be on the outside looking in.

9. Chicago Bulls

Will the Bulls make any three-pointers next year? It can be assumed that Rondo, Wade, and Butler will be starting at the point guard, shooting guard, and small forward positions. None of them shoot threes very well. That leaves Nikola Mirotic, the team’s power forward, as the Bulls’ best three-point option.

10. Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks lost Jeff Teague and Al Horford in the offseason. Yes, they signed Dwight Howard but he has proven that he’s not the easiest teammate to play with. In addition, Dennis Schroder will now be counted on to lead this team. There’re too many unknowns right now. Expect the Hawks to fall out of the playoffs.

11. New York Knicks

Derrick Rose was right. The Knicks did form a “Super-Team”…… if the year was 2011. The Knicks should have an improved record now that there’s more talent surrounding Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. It’s just the players they signed in Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee are injury prone or are already past their prime.

12. Milwaukee Bucks

I thought the Bucks would break out last year but they didn’t. They have youth, size, athleticism, and a good coach (so we think). They fooled me last year. Now I need to see the improvement to believe it.

13. Orlando Magic

The Magic added size and athleticism in the offseason. Bismack Biyombo and Serge Ibaka are good players; however, scoring is not their strong suit. Scoring for this team will be difficult.

14. Philadelphia 76ers

They went 10-72 last season and drafted the preseason favorite for rookie of the year in Ben Simmons. Can only go up from here, right?

15. Brooklyn Nets

Close your eyes Nets’ fans.

Wizards at Nets Final Score: Washington beats Brooklyn 120-111 to capture 40th win of the season

The Washington Wizards took down the Brooklyn Nets 120-111 in a game that would make the Harlem Globetrotters proud. Seven Wizards players scored in double figures led by Ramon Sessions who notched another double-double with 21 points and 12 assists.

In the most meaningless game of the year, the Wizards opened up 9-9 from the field on a 20-0 run forcing the Nets to burn two early timeouts. The Nets didn’t score their first bucket of the game until the 7:30 mark.

But as we’ve become accustomed to, the Nets were able to chip away at the lead and trailed by just six at the end of the quarter, even though the Wizards shot 68 percent from the field.

The Nets took the lead for the first time midway through the second quarter on a Wayne Ellington dunk, and from that point on, it was a back-and-forth affair.

Kelly Oubre Jr. made his mark in the first half with 14 points and this buzzer-beating heave:

The pickup basketball game resumed in third quarter as the two teams exchanged defensive efforts that would makeJames Harden proud. The Wizards would use a 9-0 run to take a 100-98 going into the third quarter.

For as entertaining as the first three quarters were, the fourth quarter was a bit of a letdown. The Wizards clamped down on defense (kinda) holding the Nets to just 13 points as they pulled away to win 120-111.

Defense? In a game featuring two teams eliminated from the playoffs, saying defense was optional would be an understatement. The Wizards led 70-69 at halftime on 60 percent shooting. The Nets weren’t so bad themselves shooting 50 percent from the field in the first half. The scoring carried over into the second half as the Wizards outscored the Nets 30-29 in the third quarter and would lead, 100-98 after three quarters.

The teams combined for an absurd 112 points in the paint (Washington – 58, Brooklyn – 54).

Bench Love: With many key players sitting this one out, Wittman gave his bench extended minutes. The new Big 3 in town: Oubre, Eddie, and Hickson took full advantage as the trio combined for 36 points including a couple of highlight reel dunks from J.J. Hickson

and Kelly Oubre:

The Wizards close out the season against Atlanta on Wednesday night.

Wizards Vs. Nets Preview: Wizards head to Brooklyn looking for 40th win of the season

The Wizards take on Brooklyn Monday night looking to pick up their 40th win of the season. If accomplished, this would be the first time since the 2004-2008 stretch where the Wizards won 40+ games in three straight seasons.

The Nets are a mess. After making the playoffs last year, they currently sit at 21-59, the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. The Nets have already shut down their two best players, Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young for the season.

The Wizards are looking to carry their momentum after the win over Charlotte on Sunday. With John Wall and Bradley Beal unlikely to play, this will give more players an opportunity to prove their worth as the offseason looms in what is essentially an exhibition game.

Game Info

When: April 11 @ 7:30 PM EST.

Where: Barclays Center

TV: CSN Mid-Atlantic

Radio: 99.1 WNEW

Injury Report

Wizards – John Wall will be a game-time decision. Bradley Beal will also be a game-time decision after re-aggravating his pelvis in the win against Charlotte.

Nets – Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young have been shut down for the season. Jarrett Jack is out with a knee injury.

What to Watch

Ramon Sessions assist numbers: With John Wall out, Ramon Sessions has turned into a facilitator averaging 10 assists per game in his three starts. As the backup, Sessions was counted on to push the ball in transition and get to the free throw line. If Sessions keeps his assists numbers up and shows he can facilitate for others, management might have to think twice about letting him walk at the end of the season.

Kelly Oubre’s Minutes: The season is over so the Wizards may as well get Oubre as many minutes as possible. Let Alan Anderson pick out his best suit to wear while he practices his 500 handshakes while Oubre gets all of his minutes.

Wizards Killer – Anyone on the Nets

The Nets are bad. Like… Lakers, 76ers, Suns bad. With Lopez shut down, if anyone on this team goes for 25+ points then they can claim the Wizards Killer throne for a night.