Nets at Wizards
The Brooklyn Nets could have folded after an embarrassing loss at San Antonio. Instead, they regrouped and handed the Oklahoma City Thunder their largest home loss of the season on Wednesday. Brooklyn will take a step down in competition when it continues its road trip at the Washington Wizards on Friday. The Wizards own the worst record and lowest-scoring offense in the NBA and are riding a three-game losing streak.
The Nets showed off the form the team envisioned when it brought in Joe Johnson and elected to keep Brook Lopez in the win over the Thunder. Johnson went for a season-high 33 points and Lopez added 25 while Deron Williams directed the offense. That formula is what Brooklyn is hoping will lift the offense from its current position among the bottom third of teams in the NBA. All the way in the basement offensively is Washington, which is averaging 88.7 points - almost three less than the next-closest team.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, YES (Brooklyn), CSMA (Washington)
ABOUT THE NETS (17-15): The inconsistency that helped get Avery Johnson fired as coach has been on display during the road trip, with a 104-73 loss at San Antonio representing the low point and the 110-93 triumph over Oklahoma City the high. Brooklyn did not have a starter score more than 12 points in the loss to the Spurs but looked like a completely different team two nights later against the Thunder. Johnson found his rhythm early on Wednesday and stayed hot throughout the contest while Lopez looked comfortable putting the ball on the floor and shooting 15-18 foot jumpers. The offense flowed so well partly because of the effort on the other end, where the Nets forced 20 turnovers that led to 30 points.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (4-26): Washington has been without point guard John Wall (knee) all season and is missing his backup, A.J. Price, due to a fractured hand. The lack of a proven facilitator is partly to blame for the lack of offense, as is the extended absence of Nene and the rookie struggles of Bradley Beal. The Wizards have hit the century mark only five times this season - three without overtime. They are averaging 84 points during the current three-game slide and are coming off an 89-81 setback at Indiana. Jordan Crawford scored 20 off the bench but the team shot 3-for-13 from 3-point range and turned the ball over 19 times.
1. The Nets won their only trip to Washington last season, 90-84 on Dec. 26, 2011, behind 23 points from Williams.
2. Johnson has averaged 19.9 points in 33 career games against the Wizards.
3. Brooklyn’s win on Wednesday snapped a four-game road losing streak.