Different pieces, same problems for Wizards

Different pieces, same problems for Wizards
April 16, 2013, 1:15 pm
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Nets-Wizards game highlights

It doesn't matter if the Wizards are using their starters or mostly reserves. The results on the road are the same: High turnovers equal losses.

The Wizards (29-51) are 7-33 away from Verizon Center, the second-worst mark in the NBA behind the Charlotte Bobcats.

They had 20 turnovers in Monday’s 106-101 loss at the Brooklyn Nets after having 13, 16 and 14 in their previous road games

The Nets didn't have their best players, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, among others, but the Wizards only had one starter for most of the game.

John Wall played 34 minutes and led the Wizards with 18 points but only shot 5-for-19. Emeka Okafor was the only other starter to play, but a sprained right ankle limited him to 10 minutes.

“You respect everybody. Everybody's in this league for a reason,” Wall said. “We just gave the game way.”

The Wizards’ identity hasn't changed despite different personnel. Nene (left foot/right knee), Trevor Ariza (left knee) and Martell Webster (ab strain) have been shut down for the season.

A mostly reserve unit blew a 30-13 lead, allowing the Nets to storm back in the fourth quarter.  

“We missed free throws, turned the ball over. We had a fast break, don't convert. We had a 5-second call on the baseline,” Wittman said. “It’s learning how to be on the floor, be able to make plays at the end of games.

“I don't care if you're a first-year player or haven't played. It’s showing me (who they are) in situations.”

To be exact, the Wizards missed four free throws -- three by Wall -- and had five turnovers to help negate their 50% shooting in the quarter.

Cartier Martin tried to call timeout with 3:42 left and leading 96-95, but the official determined five seconds had elapsed and awarded the ball to Brooklyn.

Tyshawn Taylor’s three-pointer with 22 seconds left sealed the victory. Trevor Booker had switched onto him on the perimeter but backed off the rookie guard.

Taylor had made both of his threes up to that point. He made it three in a row, equaling his season total. Eleven of his career-high 14 points came in the fourth. Taylor averaged less than 2 points entering the game. 

“To play (that way) defensively, that's what hurts most,” Wittman said. “I don't care if it’s the second-to-last game or not, you got to have a little pride in playing the kind of defense in the fourth quarter to win the game.

“We're not playing with any purpose. ‘It's 12 minutes to go, let's get these 12 minutes over with.’”

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