Here's your recap roundup for last night 95-78 bludgeoning at the hands of the Nets, but mostly just Deron Williams, who matched the Wizards with 33 first-half points due mostly to his NBA-record nine (!!!) first-half three pointers. Gak! Be sure to check out our StoryStream as well as these postgame interviews with Randy Wittman, John Wall, Martell Webster and A.J. Price, courtesy of Monumental Network.
Williams finished with a career-high 11 threes - coming one shy of the all-time mark shared by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall - and the Wizards could only pay their respects to the one-time all-star and be grateful that he cooled off in the second half.
"Just a hell of a shooting display," Coach Randy Wittman said. "He got hot. Don't know if I've ever seen anything quite like that before in the first half."
At halftime, Williams had matched the entire Wizards team with 33 - despite attempting no free throws - and set a new NBA record with nine three-pointers in one half. It was bad enough that they couldn't keep up with Williams in the first two quarters, even worse that they had more missed field goals (35) than points.
The Wizards don't have to search long and hard into why they lost to the Brooklyn Nets, 95-78, on Friday at Barclays Center. They couldn't shoot for the entire game and they didn't or perhaps couldn't find with the guy in the white jersey, wearing No. 8. Whether he was coming off screens, pulling up in transition, or simply being ignored, Williams buried the Wizards before they had a chance to see the shovel.
Deron Williams sensed the disappointment from the crowd, strange as it seemed given how well he played.
He gave the ball to the open man - just what a point guard is supposed to do.
''I thought they were going to boo me one time because I didn't shoot it,'' he said.
In one of the best 3-point shooting nights in NBA history, who wanted to see him pass?
Nothing quite sums up just how bad this game was than the fact that Brooklyn's Deron Williams broke the record for three-pointers in a half by hitting nine leading the Nets in scoring. At one point at the start of the second half Williams had as many points, 33, as the entire Wizards. At one point, Williams was the only player to hit a three in the entire game, until Washington's Martell Webster hit one at the start of the second half.
The defense improved in the second half and held the Nets to less than 40% shooting overall. The Wizards were able to cut the deficit from 27 to 13 with nine minutes left in the game, but they didn't have enough offense to get over the hump.
"He hit six 3s that quick," Wall said of Williams' start that spotted the Nets a 22-2 lead. "We wasn't making shots all night. For him to six 3s and you're not scoring, three points add up quicker than two. That's 18 right there. It's kind of tough to get through that when you're not making any shots."
On top of Williams torching Washington, Reggie Evans grabbed 24 rebounds in 32 minutes of playing time. There was a sequence in which the Nets ran a isolation play for Evans in the post, which resulted into a nifty left hook. Evans, who is one of the worst offensive players in the league, looked like a formidable post player in tonight's game. I mean, it was that kind of night for Washington. Absolutely everything that could've gone wrong, went wrong.
The previous mark for three-pointers nailed in a half, eight, was shared by Bryant, Tim Thomas, Michael Redd, Ray Allen, and Tracy McGrady - so it was nice of Williams to save a few trees when it came time every year for the NBA to print out its all-time record holders. Deron hit 12-16 shots overall in that first half, and probably would have had an easier time working toward Bryant and Marshall's record of 12 had Washington not (smartly, if tediously) not attempted a hack-a-Reggie Evans strategy on the poor-shooting Brooklyn Nets forward.
Evans, a 50 percent free throw shooter entering the night, missed 11 of 16 freebies, but was given rapturous Brooklyn applause whenever one of his attempts went down. Applause that -- and even Williams admitted as much after the contest -- rivaled the noise made when Deron set his record in the first half.
A few mind-blowing stats from Deron Williams's record-setting shooting night, in which he hit nine threes in one half (the record) and 11 overall: At the end of the first quarter, he had hit 8/9 shots, and was 7/7 from downtown. The Wizards, at that point, were six of 24 from the field, and had missed all six of their three-point tries. At one point, the score was 22-2, and Williams had hit six threes. He had hit three times as many threes as the Wizards had points. (How about Greg Anthony calling the threes "fool's gold" at about the 30-second mark in the video above, when Williams had only made a few?) The Wizards, who had an especially bad shooting night irrespective of Williams's brilliance, have a way of making excellence look downright God-like by comparison.
Wall gave up on his jump shot early after he missed his first three shots. In the second quarter, he had two open shots inside right elbow and deferred. Williams went underneath the screen and instead of taking the shot Wall passed it to Chris Singleton in traffic. Singleton passed it back to Wall who was still open. He passed it out to the perimeter to Martin. Wall finished 6-for-19 for a team-high 16 points. He only had three assists but just one turnover.
The Wizards found themselves down 24-2 right out of the gate, as Deron Williams went off and hit his first eight three pointers of the game. The Wizards found themselves down 38-14 after one quarter and had to fight their way back the rest of the game.
The first half was the Deron Williams show, as he matched the Wizards in points with 33. The Wizards found themselves down 59-33 at the half and had a lot of work cut out for the second half.
Williams's first-half performance single-handedly built enough of a cushion for the Nets to cruise past Washington, 95-78, at Barclays Center. Williams finished with 42 points on 11-of-16 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. He fell one 3-pointer short of tying the N.B.A. record and became one of six players to record 11 in a game.
"I definitely got hot, especially in that first half," Williams said. "They were shots when they leave your hand they feel like they're really good. And I just kept shooting."
Forward Reggie Evans said, "He was hot like fish grease."
Making Evans' simile even more appropriate was the fact that Williams figuratively burned the nylon nets and literally burned through two pairs of sneakers - forcing him to change footwear twice because the soles ripped off. He drained eight straight 3-pointers to start the game and scored 33 of his 42 points in the first half. His night included multiple landmarks, including an NBA record for 3-pointers in a half (nine), the franchise record for threes in a quarter (seven), the team mark for threes in a game (11), a personal high for 3-pointers in a game and a season-high in points for the Nets. He fell one 3-pointer short of the single-game NBA record of 12, held by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall. Vince Carter held the previous Nets record for threes in a game with nine.
"No clue," Williams said about his record-setting night.
It reached a crescendo when Williams received a pass from Reggie Evans following a Brook Lopez blocked shot and raced up the right side of the floor. From the moment the ball hit his hands, his intentions were clear, and he soon was pulling up from the right wing and draining a 25-foot bomb that gave the Nets a 22-2 lead with 7:19 remaining in the first quarter.
"That was a heat check," Williams said. "Think I should've shot another one after that, too. Joe [Johnson] told me I should've when I got back to the bench."
The Washington Wizards entered tonight's game against the Nets with a 5-22 record on the road. Yes, five road wins and we're a week into March. What could possibly go wrong. Cut to, dot-dot-dot...
Nothing. Nothing could go wrong. Not with the way Deron Williams was shooting the ball, on this record-setting night. Williams made his first seven 3-point attempts in the first quarter, and dropped nine total threes in the first half, scoring 33 points. From there, he went on to make two more, scoring 42 points and leading the Nets to a 95-78 victory over the Wizards.
Oh, and Reggie Evans. I mean, he was fantastic, with 24 rebounds and 11 points.
"He was hot like fish grease," said Nets power forward Reggie Evans, who added a career-high 24 rebounds and 11 points.
"You could say that," said Williams, who opened the game by hitting six 3-pointers in the opening 4 minutes and 45 seconds as the Nets jumped out to a 24-2 lead. "I definitely got hot -- especially in the first half. I just found myself really open. They were helping off me and going under screens, so I hit the first couple -- and when those shots leave your hand, they feel like they're good, so I just kept shooting."
In a down-and-up season for Williams -- he struggled with his shot to start the season -- Friday night marked his best game of the season and an apex for his shooting; after shooting exactly 30% from three-point range in November & December, an 11-16 night from beyond the arc against Washington upped his three-point percentage to 47% since January 1st and a scorching 53% since his detoxifying juice cleanse and platelet-rich plasma treatment heading into the All-Star break.
Power forward Reggie Evans, who had committed a turnover in 42% of his possessions over his previous three games, finished with a career-high 24 rebounds and just three turnovers. He added 11 points, which is the most he's scored since a Jan. 25 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, and Evans would have had more had he done better than 5 for 16 at the line.
Fans even showered Evans with a standing ovation when he made two consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter after missing six consecutive foul shots.
But the night belonged to the man who seemingly couldn't miss, and with more nights like this, all of Brooklyn might belong to Williams, too. "It is," he said, "a different feeling."
You might say it was the kind of night Williams needed to win over New York. But according to P.J. Carlesimo, if you did say that, you would be -- unlike Williams -- off the mark.
"I don't think Deron needs it," the interim coach said. "He's that good. He's been that good for so long that when he plays a game like this, it is a normal outcome."
The Nets led wire-to-wire, and it was Williams' night from the word go; he hit his first eight three-point attempts on the night, had 18 points within the first five minutes, and brought the Barclays Center crowd to their feet every time he touched the ball...well, almost.
"I thought they were going to boo me at one point," Williams joked after the game, "when I brought the ball across and may have had a shot but I gave it Joe (Johnson)...it was kind of like the crowd went 'awwww' at that point."
This was definitely one of the more memorable games of the season for Nets fans. The Nets played one of their best halves of the season in the first half tonight and were up 59-33 at halftime, led by Deron Williams's shooting. However, they really cooled off in the second half and only scored 36 points total in the half. Luckily, the first quarter effort was enough to carry them to the easy win.