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Nets try to snap out of it vs Wizards

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Memphis Grizzlies v Washington Wizards Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Not happening. The Brooklyn Nets fell behind by a bunch, made a spirited comeback, but couldn’t seal the deal and wound up losing to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. It’s becoming routine at this point. It was also their fourth straight loss.

The opponent this evening will be the Washington Wizards. It’s been a topsy turvy season for Scott Brooks’ crew, but they appear to be turning things around. They’ve won three out of their last four games, including Tuesday night’s affair against the New Orleans Pelicans. This is the first half of a back to back. They’re back in DC to play the Orlando Magic tomorrow night.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.

Injuries

Nothing new for Brooklyn. No word on whether Isaiah Whitehead will return from his G-League assignment.

Otto Porter missed Tuesday's game due to a hip injury. No word on his status for tonight. Bradley Beal didn’t practice on Wednesday after he rolled his ankle on Tuesday, but he is expected to play tonight.

The game

Brooklyn won the first game last week.

There’s never a “right” time to go on a losing streak, and for Brooklyn, this streak comes at a particularly perilous time. When they finish this one, they’re heading out of town on a five-game road trip that will carry them to New Year’s Eve in Boston. You don’t want a young team like this to feel overwhelmed when going against elite teams like San Antonio and Boston, so getting a win tonight is of the utmost importance for Kenny Atkinson and friends.

Allen Crabbe’s gonna need to do more. The guard hasn’t been as consistent as you would like and the team needs him to be a lot more potent from three-point range. The Nets (for good or for ill) are so three point dependent, and having a career 40 percent shooter from deep slumming it in the mid 30s makes things even more difficult. So far, his overall shooting (38.9 percent) and his three-point shooting (36.9 percent) are his worst in three years.

On the other side, he’ll get to deal with Bradley Beal. Assuming Beal is out there, he’ll provide a dynamic mix of scoring and playmaking. Scott Brooks has given Beal more responsibilities this year, and Beal has responded by getting more good looks for his teammates while keeping his turnovers down. His shooting percentages aren’t as good as they were last year, but on the bright side, he’s been getting to the free throw line at the highest rate of his career.

Player to watch: John Wall

The Wizards have gone 3-1 since his return, but Wall's shot hasn't been there. Wall is shooting a 35.4/36.4/41.2 split since he came back from the knee injury that kept him out a few weeks. It always takes time time to get back in the swing of things after you’ve been out due to injuries, and even more so when it’s a knee injury. I’d say it’ll take about a month before Wall is back to his usual All Star caliber performance.

Spencer Dinwiddie will be assigned to Wall tonight. He’s continued to do an amazing job of limiting his turnovers, but Brooklyn is going to need more from him. He’s shot 35.4 percent from the field over the last seven games and more concerning, 21.2 percent from three point range in that span. A lot of threes have been rushed and of poor quality, so a little more patience on his end will help immensely. Assuming the struggles continue, we might see Caris Levert get some time at the point guarding Wall.

From the Vault

In February, the Celtics will be retiring Paul Pierce’s jersey. Although he was only in DC for a year, he did leave Wiz fans with some great memories.

And on a sad note, we learned that Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Enberg passed away this morning at the age of 82. He did a lot of great work covering the NFL, MLB, and was on the mic for one of the best moments in NBA All Star Game History.

More reading: Bullets Forever