Game Report 24: Wizards 113 Nets 107
THE GAME TURNED WHEN… Washington led the Nets by 12 early in the fourth quarter, but then that Wizards 4th quarter “offense” kicked in and the team went cold. The Nets responded and outscored the Wiz 18-8 from 9:50 in 4th to 3:20 to cut the lead to two. Washington hung in for a few possessions, trying to find ugly points where they could because their jump shot was gone. However, with 1:08 left Bradley Beal took a handoff and drained a 3-pointer to boost Washington’s lead to 106-100.
THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN… With Washington leading 109-104, Nets point guard Deron Williams drove to the hoop to make it a one possession game for Brooklyn. However, instead of shying away for fear of committing a foul, John Wall stepped in front of Williams and challenged the shot. Not just challenged it, but emphatically blocked it. The loose ball was grabbed by Martell Webster and he was quickly fouled by Williams. Webster hit both free throws to put Washington up by 7, but it was Wall’s huge, clutch block at the bucket that preserved the win. WATCH THE BLOCK RIGHT HERE.
THE GOOD… Nene Hilario returned after missing four games and he made a big difference tonight. In addition to his usual defense and passing, Nene hit 6-10 shots and scored 17 points in 23 minutes. Seeing Nene back in the lineup [off the bench] makes me feel like this.
Oh, and those ferocious Nene dunks? Yeah, he brought those back with him.
You can almost tell whether the Wizards will win or not by their 3-point shooting and tonight followed that script. The Wiz hit 12-20 [60%] of their shots from behind the arc, with John Wall and Bradley Beal leading the way with 3-4 apiece.
The Wizards should strongly consider playing Kevin Seraphin with Nene more often because Seraphin seems to make better decisions with Nene around. Seraphin was an actual force tonight, scoring 10 points on 3-6 shooting, 5 rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes. Yes, he also committed four fouls. He’s still Kevin Seraphin and Nene isn’t a miracle-worker. But check out this video of Seraphin and Nene working together perfectly.
Trevor Booker didn’t shoot well [2-8], but he grabbed 13 rebounds and dished 3 dimes in only 24 minutes.
Another solid performance off the bench from Martell Webster, who scored 13 points and grabbed 6 boards in 29 minutes.
The Wizards outscored the Nets 23-3 on second chance points, a key hustle statistic.
The Wizards bench probably had its best game of the season tonight, putting in 45 points to 43 for the Nets. Even better considering that Paul Pierce accounted for 27 of Brooklyn’s bench points. [Pierce, by the way, shot 10-12 and grabbed 6 boards. Old man's still got some left.]
The Wiz out-rebounded the Nets 51-31, a complete domination of the glass and precisely what did not happen the last time these two teams met.
The Wiz hit 25-30 free throws tonight [83.3].
Washington had seven players in double figure scoring and three off the bench. When was the last time that happened?
Martell Webster is still photo/video-bombing the hell out of John Wall. Keep that going, son.
THE BAD… Marcin Gortat missed 7 of 11 shots and had his second straight poor shooting game.
Washington couldn’t hit a jump shot for virtually the entire fourth quarter.
THE UGLY… The Wizards had only 19 assists compared to 16 turnovers. Wall, in particular, got sloppy, matching his six assists with six turnovers.
THE STUDS… John Wall [21 points, 8-17 shooting, 3-4 3FG, 6 dimes, 6 TO], Nene Hilario [17 points off the bench]
THE DUDS… Garrett Temple missed 5 of 7 shots in 11 minutes. No way should Temple be taking 7 shots in 11 minutes unless 6 of them are layups.
THE BENCHWARMERS… Jan Vesely, Eric Maynor and Chris Singleton never got on the floor. Maynor’s minutes have gone to Garrett Temple and Vesely’s were taken by Seraphin.
THE QUOTES… “Tonight was as good a game as we’ve played from start to finish… We had just a lot of really good play from a lot of people… To out-rebound them by 20 was key for us…” — Coach Randy Wittman
AND WHAT IT ALL MEANS… The Wizards improve to 11-13 overall and 5-8 on the road after sweeping the city of New York this week. The Wizards are now 10-7 with Nene and 1-6 without him, with that one win coming against the Knicks on Monday. Start spreading the news: the Wiz are 4-0 against the Knicks and Nets this season so I guess we can conclude that DC hoops > NYC hoops. This was a complete team win and with Beal and Nene both on a pitch count, other players — like Booker and Seraphin stepped in to pick up the slack. If Washington can get some production from guys like Booker and Seraphin they might be more than just a good first half story before fading under the weight of minutes after the All Star break.