Instant analysis: Wizards 112, Nets 108

Instant analysis: Wizards 112, Nets 108
November 8, 2013, 9:15 pm
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Highlights: Wizards 112, Nets 108 (OT)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Who says this team doesn't need Nene?

The oft-injured 7-footer, who missed two games with a strained left calf as the Wizards lose their first three games of the season, put back a missed layup by John Wall with 1.2 to force the overtime. He then made the key assist in overtime. With the Wizards trailing 106-105, out of the low post to Trevor Ariza.

The Nets (2-3) collapsed on Nene as he drove the baseline. Then he looped the ball around defenders with one hand to a wide-open Ariza, who buried his first three-pointer in five tries for a 108-106 lead with 40.3 seconds left in overtime. 

After Joe Johnson missed his chance to tie it, Wall extended it to a two-possession game by making a pair of free throws and were able to close it out for their first victory at Verizon Center in front of 17,215. 

The Wizards (2-3) overcame a 14-point deficit in the first half, took the lead in the third quarter and quickly gave it back. They trailed 92-81 with 4:46 left in the fourth quarter when Brook Lopez made a hook shot. 

Then it was a 16-5 run to tie the score at 97. Kevin Garnett helped Brooklyn regain the lead with a jumper, but then came Nene's tip-in to force the extra period. 

The Wizards started off well in overtime to take a four-point lead -- Nene stripped Andray Blatche and fed Beal for a breakaway dunk -- but the Nets took it back as Deron Williams' three-pointer but his team back on top 106-105.

Blatche missed two free throws, and next came Nene's feed to Ariza that sealed the outcome. Nene finished with 20 points and eight rebounds. Marcin Gortat had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Wall still outplayed Williams despite 4-for-14 shooting, totaling 17 points, 14 assists and six rebounds. 

Williams was 5-for-14 shooting for 14 points and just three assists, three rebounds and had six turnovers. 

Turning point: Nene scored 10 points in that 16-5 run that helped tie the score late in the fourth quarter, and that included a three-point play. 

Best in show: Beal. Because of his stroke, the Wizards never were out of it. Beal had a game-high 29 points on 11-for-20 shooting, including 3 of 6 three-pointers. His points total tied a career-high. Nene, for various reasons already stated.  

Needs improvement: Rebounding. Lopez had his way in the paint as the Wizards were outdone in this area for the second game in a row. The Nets had the edge 51-36.

Spasms return: Wall's lower back spasms returned and he was at a disadvantage throughout the game. He said that he's getting treatments such as dry needling, acupuncture, massages and stretching, including yoga. Wall was bothered by the spasms in their home-opening loss to the Philadelphia 76ers a week ago. 

Key stats: Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, both of whom came over in a trade from the Boston Celtics, combined to shoot 3-for-16. Pierce was sick entering the game ... After Lopez dominated in the first half with 18 points, he was held to five in the second half by Gortat. ... The Wizards matched the Nets' scoring in the paint. Each scored 40. In the first two games of the season, the Wizards allowed an average of 65. 

Ex-Wizards: Blatche and Shaun Livingston were the reason the Nets led most of the way. While the starters outside of Lopez struggled, the former Wizards players combined to contribute 22 points, 15 rebounds and five assists off the bench. 

DNP: Jan Vesely and Glen Rice didn't touch the court for the fifth game in a row. Trevor Booker (left index finger) didn't get off the bench for the second game in a row. Booker had been starting at power forward but was said to be available despite the injury to his shooting hand. 

From the locker room: "Nene was huge in that fourth quarter and overtime. No question about it. I've stated this a number of times: He's so important to us, not just points and stat sheets. It's not a stat sheet-thing with Nene. His presence on the floor goes a long way, both offensively and defensively." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman

"It was tough. We got down nine, came back with three, four minutes left. They are a great veteran team. But we just didn't give up. We had a big effort defensively. We got a couple stops and made big shots." -- Wall 

"This game was like boxing, like MMA. ... The way we played, the way we committed to share the ball, to help each other, it was amazing. It was good for whoever watched the game and very sore, very painful for who played." -- Nene

"It's a game of runs. They make a run, we make a run. Back and forth and at the end it's going to boil down to who wants it the most. During those timeouts we all stuck together. We said we're fine. We continued to do what we needed to do. Got stops, we scored the ball and next thing we ended up winning the game." -- Beal 

"I thought about that play a lot, it's coming back to my mind. I felt it was my job to go and help D. Will and contest Wall's shot. I keep thinking I could have stayed back and boxed Nene out, but I try to be the last line of defense on this team." -- Lopez on going for the block which allowed Nene's tip-in to force overtime with 1.2 seconds left

"I tip my hat to Washington. They played well. They did what they had to do to close the game out." -- Garnett 

Up next: The Wizards might will practice Saturday afternoon at Verizon Center before leaving for Oklahoma City, where they begin a three-game road trip Sunday (CSN, 7 p.m ET).