BROOKLYN – With a winless road trip looking like a real possibility as the deficit grew to 15, the Wizards came out of the locker room after halftime with an energy and effort on the defensive end that they had lacked for the first 24 minutes.
Then John Wall (25 points, 13 assists) and Bradley Beal (18 points, four rebounds, four assists) closed out the 118-113 win at Barclays Center on Monday.
Both knocked down key shots late and Wall stripped Joe Harris from behind for a breakaway dunk and a 109-106 lead with 3:09 left. Wall found Markieff Morris for a backdoor layup and Beal stripped Bojan Bogdanovic to prevent an attempted three to tie the score with the Wizards ahead 116-113.
Otto Porter (18 points), Morris (16 points, four steals) and Marcin Gortat (10 points, 12 rebounds) rounded out the starters for Washington, which lost games in Oklahoma City and San Antonio to start this trip that they failed to close out with leads.
Marcus Thornton (11 points) and Kelly Oubre (10 points) were pivtoal off the bench along with Trey Burke (eight points).
Wall buried his first three-point shot of the game to give the Wizards (7-12) their largest lead of the game out of a timeout, 112-106. On the next play, Beal drew extra attention and delivered a bounce pass to Gortat for a layup.
Robin Lopez (25 points, six rebounds, five assists) led the Nets (5-15) followed by Sean Kilpatrick (21 points) and Bogdanovic (18 points).
-- Ball pressure turned the tide in Washington’s favor. Morris had four steals in the third quarter alone when the Wizards had their best output with a 32-15 edge in scoring. The ball-handling for Brooklyn is suspect even with its starters, but particularly when Joe Harris was on the floor and they ended with 22 turnovers that created 35 points for the Wizards. Porter, Beal and Wall each had three steals, too.
-- The Nets made 26 of 46 shots in the first half, or 56.5%. They also made half of their 16 three-point shots. When the Wizards were able to make their run out of halftime, the Nets didn’t get their first field goal until 8:25. They shot 5 of 18 in the third, 27.8% and had 10 turnovers.
-- Gortat was left on an island to defend Lopez, and he was able to hit a variety of shots from the outside. He started to play closer to the rim, something Lopez hadn’t done much of recently, and was able to finish with up-and-under moves as well as bank shots. When the Wizards came out after halftime, they were more creative in defending him. They trapped the ball immediately. Jason Smith played spot minutes in the fourth to help on Lopez and slow his roll offensively. Lopez only scored nine points after halftime.
-- Burke supplanted Tomas Satoransky off the bench in the rotation again and didn’t hurt his chances for the future. He had eight quick points, a three-pointer tying the score at 44 at 6:55 of the second quarter.
-- Morris, displeased with his third foul at 4:00 of the second quarter, picked up another technical as his team came unhinged. That gives Morris five which is tied for second-most in the league. He responded with a second half in which he was a major part of the defensive pressure that threw the Nets off-balance.
-- From 4:31 to 3:11 of the second, the Wizards went from trailing 51-48 to 61-48. They had two turnovers, one each from Wall and Beal, and when Satoransky was left open as the Nets played under Gortat’s screen, he barely drew iron from 20 feet.
-- A pair of layups from Bogdanovic forced a quick timeout from Wizards coach Scott Brooks with the score 80-74. That prevented the lead from ballooning to double-digits. Brooks called Beal’s number and got him an easy deuce over Gortat’s screen to steady them on both ends.
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