Nets look for bounce-back win vs. Wizards

NBA

For the past week or so, the Brooklyn Nets experienced moments where they were off their game. The Nets were able to overcome those struggles until Friday night in Orlando.

The Nets look to shake off a rare loss Sunday night when they host the Washington Wizards, who gave them fits in a pair of dramatic games in January.

Brooklyn is 14-2 in its past 16 games but saw a six-game winning streak halted with a 121-113 loss to the Orlando Magic. Brooklyn’s first loss since Feb. 27 came after it survived shaky moments in three straight single-digit wins over Detroit, New York and Indiana.

“This is what it feels like to lose,” Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving said. “We don’t want too many more feelings like this, so learn from it and move forward.”

Irving scored 43 points, including a basket that cut Brooklyn’s deficit to four points midway through the fourth quarter. But the Nets didn’t get any closer and were ultimately done in by allowing the Magic to shoot 51.2 percent from the field and yield a season-worst 21 3-pointers.

“I guess 21 of 40 from 3 from them is outstanding,” Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said. “That was, in many ways, the story of the game. If we’d been a little sharper to start, maybe we could’ve cut that down. But perhaps it just was one of those nights.”

Brooklyn also experienced an off night from James Harden, whose 11 triple-doubles are one shy of the franchise record set by Jason Kidd in 2006-07 and matched the following season.

Harden totaled 40 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds Wednesday in Indiana but Friday was held to 19 points on 4-for-15 shooting to end a streak of 14 games with at least 20 points. Harden also shot 2 of 8 from 3-point range and is 5-for-36 from 3-point range over his last five games.

Washington owns a pair of dramatic wins over the Nets this season amongst its 15 victories. On Jan. 3, Thomas Bryant had the game-winning dunk with 14.9 seconds left. On Jan. 31, Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook hit 3-pointers in the final 8.1 seconds to help Washington overcome a five-point deficit in the final seconds after trailing by 18 in the first half.

Washington is 11-13 since its stunning comeback in the last meeting but is struggling of late. The Wizards won five straight from Feb. 14-22 but are 4-8 in their past 12 games and have allowed at least 120 points in six straight.

Washington owns wins over Denver, Portland, and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Wizards picked up another victory over an elite Western Conference team Thursday night when they shot 54.7 percent and posted a 131-122 win over the Utah Jazz.

“We’re playing against the best team in basketball,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said. “Our antennas were up. We’ve got to do that every night.”

Beal scored 43 points, Westbrook totaled 35 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists for his 13th triple-double of the season. Beal produced his fifth 40-point game by making 16 of 24 shots and scored 30 points after halftime.

Westbrook’s latest triple-double continued a recent hot streak that has seen him average 27.6 points on 48.8 percent shooting in his last eight games.

“(Beal) and Russell, they’ve shown great leadership,” Brooks said. “They’re not going to let go of the rope. They’re going to keep helping to pull this team in the right direction.”

–Field Level Media

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April 29 2021 07:00 pm

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