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.