Friday's game: Wizards-Nets preview

Friday's game: Wizards-Nets preview
March 7, 2013, 10:00 pm
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Wizards vs. Nets

at Barclays Center

TV: CSN, 7:30 p.m. ET

Season series: Tied 1-1.

Last meeting: The Wizards won 89-74 on Feb. 8 in Washington. They went on a 22-2 run in the second quarter as PF Nene led the way with 20 points and 11 rebounds.  The Nets shot only 32.9 percent as former Wizard F Andray Blatche played at Verizon Center for the first time and was 2-for-9 in 16 minutes.

Previous game: On the road, the Wizards lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 87-82 on Wednesday to fall to 19-40; Nets beat the Charlotte Bobcats 99-78 on Wednesday to improve to 35-26.

Projected starting lineups: Wizards -- PG John Wall, SG Martell Webster, SF Trevor Ariza, PF Nene, C Emeka Okafor. Nets -- Deron Williams, SG Joe Johnson, SF Gerald Wallace, PF Reggie Evans, C Brook Lopez.

Pivotal matchup: Wall vs. Williams. The speed advantage goes to Wall, who has begun to shoot better and take better care of the ball. Williams has had a problem with turnovers, who has 18 in his last four games entering Wednesday. Wall had 15 points and nine assists in their last meeting while Williams had 20 points, six rebounds and five assists. But Wall has been careless, too. He has 20 turnovers in his last four outings. 

Trending upward: Wall is showing more confidence in his jump shot. He opened 4-for-4 in Minnesota, with all of his baskets from 18-20 feet above the right elbow of the key. In the Wizards’ game vs. Philadelphia on Sunday, Wall closed 2-for-2 on jumpers to seal that victory.

Trending downward: The Wizards lost their eight-point lead in the first half in Minnesota because of turnovers when they had 12. F Chris Singleton hasn't played in the last two games.

He said it: "I lost the game really ... I took the three when we were down one and then we got a stop....(but) then J.J. did a great job of jumping out and Rubio hit the ball away and they went up three, so that was tough." -- Wall on the waning minutes when Ricky Rubio stole the ball from him and fed J.J. Barea for a game-clinching basket in Minnesota. 

Looking ahead: Saturday vs. Charlotte Bobcats, 8; Tuesday at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7; Wednesday vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 7. All on CSN.


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