The Nets blew out the Washington Wizards, who were minus John Wall, 117-80, on Friday night at Barclays Center. The Nets have now won 10 of their last 13 games and 12 of 16.
The Nets remain tied with the Boston Celtics at 37-42, with Boston getting seventh place in the Eastern Conference based on tiebreakers, with the Nets in eighth. The Indiana Pacers, at 36-43, are in ninth and one game behind the Nets. The Miami Heat, at 35-44, are two behind the Nets.
The Nets were led by Brook Lopez, who had 26 points on 12-for-22 from the field, with 9 rebounds in 32 minutes. Lopez has now scored 25+ points in nine of his last 13 games after he did it in just five of his first 56 games this season. He scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half, and 14 in the first quarter.
Deron Williams had 9 points (3-11 FG, 2-4 on threes) and 9 assists. Joe Johnson had 7 points (3-5 FG, 1-2 on threes) and 9 assists.
Bojan Boganovic led the way off the bench with 22 points on 7-for-12 from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 on threes, with 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Bogey’s six threes are a career-high and tie the rookie record set by Kerry Kittles on February 17, 1997. Bogey said of getting open looks, “This is true. We play great pick and roll. Our point guards, they find us, also Brook is killing everything so they have to trap him, so there are many open looks for the guards.”
Bogdanovic said of ball movement, “After the All-Star break, one of the best things we did and we need to continue…both our point guards are doing a great job. Brook is also great like I said, he was like an MVP, which makes all the teams focus on him, which makes it easier to make assists.”
Jarrett Jack had 14 points on 5-for-6 from the field, 2-2 on threes, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Jack said of what allowed the Nets to win big, “Our focus level. From start to finish, I thought we played at a pace, concentration level and focus that allowed us to open the game up early and we were able to get the lead when they fought back and we were able to withstand their runs.”
Jack said of the play from the bench, “I thought, defensively, just allowed everybody to kind of get in a groove and get in a rhythm. Set the tone for us, set the pace for us and everybody just contributed from there. I think it’s easy when we’re not allowing teams to shoot a high percentage, it allows us to flow that much better on the offensive end. Myself, Bogan, a number of guys coming in and making contributions and helped us key this thing as we try to wrap up these last final home games.”
This was a game of streaks. After the Wizards started the game out with a 5-0 lead, the Nets responded with a 22-5 run to take a 22-10 lead on a Lopez layup at the 3:12 mark of the first quarter. The Nets led 31-14 at the end of the first.
The Nets led 54-38 at halftime, and the Wizards started the third on an 8-2 run to pull to within 56-46 on a Marcin Gortat jumper at the 9:57 mark of the third. Nets Head Coach Lionel Hollins called timeout at this point, and the Nets responded with a 10-2 run to go up 66-48 on a Bogdanovic layup at the 7:58 mark of the third.
The Wizards pulled back to within 10 points once again, at 70-60, on a Gortat hook shot at the 3:15 mark of the third. The Nets responded with a 25-3 run capped by a Lopez dunk at the 7:28 mark of the fourth that made it 95-63. The Nets’ biggest lead was 38 points, 115-77, on an Earl Clark three with 1:07 left in the game.
Wizards Head Coach Randy Whitman was very honest on tonight’s game and he said, “It was a no show, that’s what my thoughts are on today. This was basically come out and play the game, it’s on the schedule, and we’re in New York. We had no rhyme or reason to what we were doing out there right from the start. From a defensive standpoint, it really put us behind the eight ball right away. Then when you compound that without getting stops, taking the ball out, no pace to the game, not making shots, it’s tough. Now we came out in the third quarter and did the things we wanted to do to start the game. I think Brook Lopez gets zero points in the third quarter and we get the lead down to 10. For us coming out to start the game, we just came out to play the game.”