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Well, that didn’t go as planned: Nets fall at home to Wizards, 125-116

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NBA: Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Nets were caught in a bit of a trap on Wednesday night; coming off a huge win over the Spurs earlier in the week and taking on a Wizards team who entered the night losers of four straight. You can see where I’m going.

Yeah, one of those games.

Nets got off to a hot start, with a 10-0 burst out of the gate. But as they say, all good things must come to an end. I mean, you didn’t think they were going to shut the Wizards out, did you?

It wasn’t just the usual suspects who gave the Nets some fits. Sure, Bradley Beal got hot in the first half with 17 points, but also Thomas Bryant off the bench gave the Nets a ton of fits early on. He went for 14 points and 4 rebounds in the first half. Too much muscle.

On the Brooklyn side of the ball, it was the usual suspects. Or, suspect. D’Angelo Russell kept the Nets in the game with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting and five assists in the first half.

Caris LeVert on the other hand - yuck. He was 0-for-5 from the floor in 10 first-half minutes.

The Wizards carried a 68-60 lead a the half.

The 68 points was the most scored by an opposing team in Brooklyn, in the first half of a game this season.

The second half? Yeah, about that.

Nets found themselves down by 24 points just six minutes in the second half. The defense was “blah,” the offense was “ugh,” and the effort was “wait, really?” And it only got worse from there.

“I think at this level and where we are, we’re fighting – we’ve had to scratch & claw,” Atkinson said post-game. “You can’t kind of relax and get a win in this league, it’s just too hard. Our guys are professional, they’re high-character, they’re resilient guys. I just think that we’ll see how they respond to this one. I don’t think we’ve had too many clunkers like this. This is a clunker. And we’ve got to bounce back against a good Charlotte team, obviously.”

Indeed.

Brooklyn had allowed the Wizards to drop 101 points on them. In THREE quarters. Not four. Three. Washington outscored the Nets 33-19 in the third.

Nets on the night shot 22.9 percent on 8-of-35 shooting three. Eight of thirty-five. They turned the ball over 16 times to just 20 assists, while the Wizards had 34 assists on 44 made field goals.

Russell finished with 28 points (only 5 points in the second half). Shabazz Napier with 22 points off the bench. LeVert scored ZERO points in 20 minutes, to go along with zero assists and two turnovers.

Wizards win, 125-116.

The good news? We move on to Friday night against the Hornets. A team on the Nets heels in the standings, and a team that lost to the Rockets on Wednesday night.

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DEFENSE

PLAYOFF RACE

The Nets are only helping their cause following a mini two-game win streak entering Wednesday’s game against the Wizards. The Pistons, however, remain on their tail for the six seed, having won three straight games and standing 1 12 games away from the Nets. Otherwise, Brooklyn has a little more breathing room with a four-game difference between them and the ninth seed.

Results to keep an eye on: Hornets-Rockets (Hornets lost), Heat-Warriors, Pistons-Spurs.

These next few games are crucial. The Nets play the next four of five at home before they embark on a seven-game road-trip. We’re coming down to the final stretch and it isn’t going to be easy. They need to put themselves in a good position before hitting the tough stretch.

DLO x DBOOK

D’Angelo Russell posted this picture of Suns guard Devin Booker wearing an All-Star jersey with the Nets logo on it. It blew up and everybody got their trade machines out...

I understand the fun in all of this, but the two are best friends. He could just be, you know, doing things that friends do and supporting him. The Suns do have space for a max contract, though...

TAHJERE MCCALL SIGNS 10-DAY DEAL WITH BROOKLYN

Tahjere was McCalled up. The Brooklyn Nets announced Tuesday that they signed guard Long Island Nets Guard Tahjere McCall to a 10-day contract. In 23 games this season, McCall has recorded averages of 10.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals in 25.3 minutes per game. The 24-year-old becomes the fifth call-up in Long Island Nets history and the second for the team this season, joining Mitch Creek.

This video shows a glimpse of how infectious the Nets culture is from the big-league team down to the G-League guys.

And here’s his first NBA points...

Good for him.

For a different perspective, head on over to Bullets Forever, our Wizards sister site on SB Nation.

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The Nets will face off against the Hornets on Friday.