They never quit, but it doesn’t make losing any easier.
The Nets, down 23 in the second, fought their way back and cut this thing down to one late in the fourth, then took it into overtime.
Here’s how it went in the fourth... a typical Nets comeback, starting with 3:19 left.
What looked like a potential blowout loss suddenly turned into a winnable game. They hit three straight 3-pointers and then Caris LeVert put home a fastbreak dunk bringing the deficit down to one.
They made a couple stops and found themselves on the break again.
LeVert passed up an open three to hit Jarrett Allen down low, who passed up a decent look to hit Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Hollis-Jefferson then tried to hit LeVert in the corner but turned it over. John Wall put Washington up by three at the line, 16 seconds: Nets ball.
Washington forced a difficult shot from Dinwiddie, but LeVert tipped it out to Quincy Acy who nailed the biggest shot of his Brooklyn Nets career. They stopped Wall on the ensuing defensive possession and this one headed to overtime despite the Nets trailing by 23 in the third quarter.
The big moment...
Caris LeVert back tap to Quincy Acy. It’s 107-107 with 9 seconds left pic.twitter.com/3GQxlQL1U3— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) January 14, 2018
Overtime was the game in a nutshell.
The Nets dug themselves in a hole following a 7-2 start for Washington, but they continued to fight. Wall hit two clutch buckets in the final 40 seconds to put Washington up by five with 16 seconds left. The Nets missed two 3-pointers on the following possession and this one was over.
“Just didn’t shoot it well enough, I think, 28 percent from 3 when you shoot 43 3s,” Kenny Atkinson said. “I do think our defense kept us in it like it has been, so we got to shoot a little better. We got to look at the shot selection of course. Look at our drive. Do we get to the rim enough? That’s always something we look at.”
Final: Wizards 119, Nets 113.
This time, they got praise not just from their coaches and the opponents’ coaches, but players from the other team.
Meanwhile, over at NBA TV, Mike Fratello and Matt Winer talked about how, despite the loss, there’s a plan.
Fratello: “One thing about Sean Marks, who’s the head of the organization, obviously their GM right now, he had made it clear, along with Kenny Atkinson, that they are going to treat this whole thing just like they’re Golden State, just like they’re San Antonio, just like they’re Boston. Everything is first class for the players. They treat their players as if they’re the most important people in the world. And the players feel that... the facility, the practice facility, what they do...
“Going into the season, every player but one —and this is incredible— lives in Brooklyn. This didn’t happen before when they were over in Jersey . Some were in New York, some were in Jersey. When they first came over to Brooklyn, guys were all over the place. They got a commitment from them and these guys, some of them want to be back and get a long-term contract, not just the one-year deal.”
Winer: “They’re building a roster. They’re building a reputation as well. Remember when Marks came in and hired Atkinson, they were in a bad, bad way. Depleted of assets from the Kevin Garnett - Paul Pierce trade ... still don’t have their own pick in this upcoming draft.
“They’ve got a long road to go, but boy, they play their hearts out.“
So, it goes...
The Brooklyn Nets are now 16-27 on the season and 2-7 in the second game of back-to-backs. They’ll face the Knicks on Monday.
Hollis-Jefferson finished the night with his seventh 20-point game of the season with 22 points and a career-high seven assists. DeMarre Carroll had another stellar game since returning from his knee injury with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Jarrett Allen tied his career-high with 16 points and eight rebounds.
LeVert shot just 5-of-16 on the night but maneuvered his way into every play a dictated the tempo in the second half. He finished with 12 points and eight assists, but turned the ball over five times. Spencer Dinwiddie had an even worse shooting night, going 4-of-16. Allen Crabbe was only slightly better at 5-of-15.
For Washington, John Wall finished with 23 points and 16 assists but turned the ball over eight times. Bradley Beal was the high scorer of the night with 24.
HOW IT WENT
It looked bad when the Wizards went up 20-4 to start the game. They continued to build on the momentum and took a 20-point halftime lead.
But then the Nets chipped away in the second half. They cut it down to 10, then eight and then three before you could even blink. It was a 14-2 run that brought them back. They continued to fight as Washington took their foot off the pedal a bit – cutting the 20-point deficit down to nine entering the fourth quarter following a 35-24 advantage.
Nets from 3-point range in the 1st 3 quarters: 6-of-25 (24.0%)
Nets from 3-point range in the 4th quarter: 5-of-10 (50.0%)
You can’t fault the Nets for this one. That being said, if they don’t come out so lethargic, they probably win this game. Instead, it’s another tally in the loss column.
For a different perspective, head on over to Bullets Forever.
- Game Report: Washington Wizards 119, Brooklyn Nets 113 (OT) - NBA.com
- Highlights: Washington Wizards 119, Brooklyn Nets 113 (Video) - NBA.com
- Highlights: Acy block party (Video) - NBA.com
- Acy ties the game (Video) - NBA.com
- Crabbe to LeVert (Video) - NBA.com
- Dinwiddie sinks the jumper (Video) - NBA.com
- Crabbe for 3 (Video) - NBA.com
- Allen scores (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets Post-Game Plus BKN@WAS (Video) - Nancy Newman - YES Network
- Atkinson on battling back to OT (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson on giving Acy the start (Video) - YES Network
- Dinwiddie on sluggish start (Video) - YES Network
- Keys to the Game at Wizards (Video) - YES Network
- Wall pushes Wizards over the line in 119-113 OT win vs Nets - Ian Quillen - AP
- Wall leads Wizards to OT victory over Nets - Reuters
- Nets big comeback falls just short in OT loss to Wizards - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- One Nets veteran comes up big in rare start - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets make late run, but fall to Wizards in OT - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Another overtime leads to road loss against Wizards (Game Grades) - Elizabeth Swinton - The Brooklyn Game
- BROOKLYN NETS 113-119 WASHINGTON WIZARDS (OT): THREE TAKEAWAYS - Alex Labidou - Brooklyn Nets
- Wizards find the extra pass pays dividends, push past Nets in OT - Candace Buckner - Washington Post