John Wall or no John Wall -- and Wednesday there was no John Wall for the Wizards -- this wasn't the type of energy expected from a team on the cusp of being officially eliminated from the playoffs. At least, not for two quarters.
Still, the Wizards (38-40) came through with a 121-103 victory over the Brooklyn Nets (21-57) after allowing a 30-23 lead to evaporate after the first quarter and a 40-32 edge dissipate midway through the second.
Bradley Beal (25 points) shot 11 of 15 to lead the Wizards, followed by Ramon Sessions (18 points, 13 assists), Marcin Gortat (16 points, 12 rebounds), Otto Porter (15 points, six rebounds), Nene (13 points, seven rebounds) and Garrett Temple (10 points, six rebounds, six assists).
The sense of urgency that the Wizards needed to show to put away a team on a five-game losing streak didn't come to the surface until the third quarter where Sessions, in his first start, scored 11 points to blow open a 54-52 halftime advantage.
Thomas Robinson (23 points) scored a career-high in leading Brooklyn, followed by Sean Kilpatrick (15 points), Wayne Ellington (14 points) and Markel Brown (13 points).
If the Wizards had lost, they would've been eliminated because the Detroit Pistons won at the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.
- Wall practiced fully Tuesday and was a late scratch because of a right knee bruise. Given that the opponent, with Larkin (nine points, 31 minutes) as Brooklyn's starter, the Wizards were able to get away with it and save him for Friday's game at Detroit. The Wizards had 36 assists on 48 made shots.
- Temple energized the Wizards when they had no life in the first quarter and trailed 21-20, getting consecutive steals. One led to a layup for Sessions and the next produced a dunk for Markieff Morris (nine points, seven rebounds). The defensive effort of the other four players on the court picked up with Temple as they denied passing angles and took a seven-point lead into the second quarter.
- The Nets' pick-and-roll coverage was beyond bad which allowed Gortat to get to the rim for easy finishes. Sessions has a tendency to look for his shot first with the second unit because that's his job. But he made the extra pass.
- Kelly Oubre (seven points) logged his most time since Jan. 20 with 19 minutes. It wasn't just garbage time. Oubre played late in the first and coach Randy Wittman stuck with him to start the second. Drew Gooden (four points) also made his first appearance in a month and just his second since Feb. 28. He had a nifty reverse towards the end of the game.
- The Wizards were so much bigger inside, they had a 53-38 edge in rebounds and scored 68 of their points in the paint. The Nets shut down Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young for the season because of injuries. But they also kept the Nets to 39 of 92 shooting, or 42.4% which is a telltale sign of how they're engaged defensively.