By Dave Johnson
The Washington Wizards' season is not over. It only seemed that way in the fourth quarter Monday in Brooklyn where the Wizards checked out on the defensive end and allowed the Nets to pull out a 106-101 on the strength of 33 points over the final 12 minutes.
Here is today’s Wizards Report:
“In that 4th quarter, we just came out to play 12 minutes. We just wanted to get the 12 minutes over with. We lost our pride in defending, which is really discouraging considering the way we’ve shown we can defend I don’t care if this is the second to last game or not, you got to have a little bit of pride to play defense in the 4th quarter to win a game.”
Guard Tyshawn Taylor was able to penetrate with ease and scored 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter when the Nets shot 58 percent from the field. The Nets also scored five points off 10 Wizards turnovers in the final quarter. The Nets did not have their first lead until they went ahead 95-94.
The offensive numbers from the Wizards were satisfactory. As a team the Wizards shot 53 percent from the field with five players in double figures. John Wall led the way with 18 points and 12 assists and Kevin Seraphin came off the bench to add 17 points. The Wizards were hampered by 20 turnovers.
With the Nets already locked into the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, they decided to rest six players including Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Reggie Evans, Keith Bogans and Jerry Stackhouse. Only one regular starter, Gerald Wallace, was in the Nets’ starting five.
Despite the makeshift lineup the Nets placed seven players in double figures scoring led by Andray Blatche and Kris Humphries, who each finished with 20 points. The night also provided an opportunity for seldom used Tornike Shengelia, who scored a career-high 11 points to go with a career-high 11 rebounds.
The Wizards were also missing players including Nene, Trevor Ariza, Martell Webster and Bradley Beal. It still seemed like a good opportunity for the Wizards to grab their 30th win of the season and in the first quarter they were able to build a 30-17 lead. At halftime Wall had more assists, 8, than the Nets had as a team (6).
There were troubling signs over the middle two quarters. The Wizards turned the ball over nine times in the second quarter. In the third quarter the Nets outrebounded the Wizards 21-11. In fact, the Nets had 11 offensive rebounds to match the Wizards' rebound total in the third quarter.
The second chance points by the Nets allowed them to stay in the game until they were able to pull ahead in the fourth quarter. For the game, the Nets had a 21-10 advantage in second chance points.
“They just played hard. They did things, they were making shots, and Kris Humphries had a big game, Andre Blatche too. They did the little things and they deserved to win.”