Deron Williams can really play. The Brooklyn Nets' All-Star point guard set an NBA record with nine three pointers in the first half on the way to 42 for the game as he almost single-handedly defeated Washington, 95-78. There was nothing particularly bad about Washington's defense on Williams, even in the first half when he was particularly good; Williams just had one of those nights where every shot he took seemed to go in. His 33 first half points matched Washington's total as a team and, even though he slowed down a bit in the second half, he'd put the game so far out of reach that Washington just couldn't make up the difference.
Despite being blown out, Washington didn't play all that poorly for most of the game and was actually the better team in the second half. I wouldn't go so far as to call this a moral victory, but if there's a silver lining here, it's that the defense was good enough to hold the Nets to below 40% shooting despite Williams' crazy night.
- This game was basically over within the first five minutes. Brooklyn jumped out to a 24-2 lead before the six minute mark in the first quarter. Deron Williams was somewhere between excellent and transcendent. He hit a bunch of threes and Washington, possibly spooked, started having trouble with their defensive rotations.
- Williams went on to hit seven three pointers ... in the first quarter.
- This tweet basically sums up the first quarter.
- End of 1: Deron Williams 23, Wizards 14. The Nets lead 38-14.
- — Brian Mahoney (@briancmahoney) March 9, 2013
- Washington didn't look good and Brooklyn was really hot. End of story.
- The second quarter was more of the same. Washington started scoring a bit more and we saw some regression to the mean. Cartier Martin debuted and was pretty unmemorable, while Seraphin and Blatche seemed to be trying to outplay each other. Washington continued to fall farther and farther behind as all of Brooklyn's perimeter players seemed to be on a mission to embarrass the Wizards.
- Williams continued to light it up in the second. He had nine threes and 33 points overall at halftime. Washington had 33 points as a team. Wall and Ariza did what they could, but the Wizards just haven't been able to contain Williams. It's not even necessarily that they're doing anything wrong. It's impossible to contain a guy like Williams when he's making like 80% of his threes. If there's any silver lining at all here, it's that he's rarely gotten all the way to the basket.
- Washington opened the third with some highlight plays from Wall and Ariza. Unfortunately, a little bit of transition success wasn't enough to get Brooklyn's lead out of the 20s. Wittman and Nene were both visibly frustrated, with the former getting hit with a technical at one point. A career night from a player like Williams as well as the constant presence of Reggie Evans will do that to a team.
- Some way, somehow Washington got back in it. A couple of transition buckets, an Okafor postup, and some Blatche turnovers allowed Washington to get back within 14 at the close of the third quarter. They looked a lot better out of the gate and you almost have to wonder how this game would have played out had Williams hit, say, four three pointers in the first half.
- The fourth quarter opened up with more back and forth. Washington's offense went cold until Price's three cut the Nets' lead to 13, the lowest it had been since the first quarter.
- Reggie Evans dominated the boards all night. He set a career high when he recorded his 23rd rebound about midway through the fourth quarter.