The good news is that the Wizards got redemption against the Brooklyn Nets with a 99-90 win, just one night after getting their butts handed to them at Verizon Center. Bradley Beal was outstanding tonight. He had a near triple double with 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists. In addition, Marcin Gortat also had a great game, scoring 10 points and 16 rebounds.
Unlike Friday's contest, the Wizards came out with noticeably more intensity after being caught sleeping at the wheel on Friday. Though this was more or less an even game during the first half, things changed during the third quarter when Washington made a 10-0 run where the Wizards turned around a 63-56 deficit with 7:43 left to a 66-63 lead just over four minutes later. Nene scored six points during that run alone. From that point on, the game started to point toward Washington's way.
Though Brooklyn came back and tied it up in the fourth quarter 81-all after Brook Lopez made some free throws, Washington had an answer as they scored on four of their next five possessions. Nene also blocked a potential alley oop with just over two minutes left to prevent Brooklyn from making this game more interesting than it already was. Now, here we are. Let's get to some key takeaways from this game:
The Wizards' posts turned around after an awful Friday performance.
During yesterday's blowout, Mason Plumlee had a double double while Brook Lopez scored 26 points off the bench. Both Nene and Gortat on the other hand failed to score in double figures. During today's win, both Nene and Gortat scored in double figures. While Plumlee matched his scoring total Friday with 11 points, he could only get three rebounds. In addition, Lopez scored 15 points, but had to do so shooting an inefficient 5-of-13 from the field.vIt's not like the Wizards' and Nets' posts switched places from yesterday to today, but the Wizards played with increased intensity in the post, and it showed tonight.
Jarrett Jack may just appear to have the Wizards' number.
On Friday, Jack scored 26 points on 12 of 18 shooting in an outstanding performance leading the Nets to victory. Tonight, though the Nets lost, he still scored 22 points on 10 of 18 shooting and dished 8 assists. No one is going to say that Jack is better than John Wall of course, but he's not a bad point guard himself by any stretch. Some players also seem to do well against some teams for whatever reason, and that may just be the case with him.
The Wizards' free throw shooting was pathetic.
The Wizards won the field goal percentage battle by a wide margin where they shot 51.9% from the field, while the Nets only shot 43.9% overall. Normally, this kind of a disparity would give Washington a blowout win. However, they only shot 14 of 27 (51.9%) from the free throw line, while the Nets shot 14 of 18 (77.8%) from the stripe. Washington's already below average at making free throws, but shooting just over 50% on free throws is something that must be addressed over the coming weeks, since you can't exactly cure that in one day.
The Wizards' next game is a Monday matinee at home against the Philadelphia 76ers. But for tonight, let's celebrate the win!