When: Sunday, March 21 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington
Wizards: Davis Bertans (Calf, Out); Ish Smith (Quad, Out); Thomas Bryant (Knee, Out)
Nets: Kevin Durant (Hamstring, Week-to-week); Spencer Dinwiddie (Knee, Out for season)
The Washington Wizards (15-25) have not lost to the Brooklyn Nets (28-14) this season. They played each other twice in January, which resulted in a 123-122 the first game and 149-146 win the second time. Both teams were a bit different a few months ago. In Washington’s first win, where they led most of the time, Thomas Bryant scored the game-winning dunk. Bryant was behind Bradley Beal (27 points) and Russell Westbrook (24 points) in scoring but he did put up an impressive 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s combined 58 points weren’t enough.
In their second matchup, the Brooklyn decided to rest James Harden and it did not work in their favor. With 12 seconds left and the Wizards down by 5 points, Bradley Beal nailed a long three before Westbrook hit a big three, which put the Wizards up by one. Fortunately for Washington, Brooklyn missed what could have been a game-winning layup. Kevin Durant and Joe Harris finished with 37 and 30 points respectively. Kyrie Irving added 26 points. For the Wizards, Westbrook led with 2 assists shy of a triple-double (41 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists). Beal followed with 37 points. The Wizards’ bench players showed up and combined for 50 points.
Without Thomas Bryant, who is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his left knee on Jan. 9, and now Davis Bertans, the Wizards’ third matchup against Brooklyn this season will be different but the Wizards have shown they can still work through losses. The Nets, who are coming off a loss to the Orlando Magic, will be without Kevin Durant but James Harden will be available Sunday.
Fans can expect the Wizards to come out with an extra dose of confidence after beating the league’s best Utah Jazz 131-122 Thursday night at Capital One Arena.