Despite a few mild threats in the third quarter behind Bradley Beal’s hot shooting, the Nets never relinquished control of this game after jumping out to an early lead, putting 27 points between them & the Wizards in the first half and stretching it to over 30 at points in the fourth quarter.
Without John Wall, the Wizards stood little chance in this game: rudimentary sets and schemes became complicated parlor tricks, turnovers became routine, and the Nets rode a still-invigorated Brook Lopez in the first half and hot (open) shooting from outside all night. I mean, when Jarrett Jack hits 2 top-of-the-key three-pointers after making six all season, it just might be your night.
The win was key for Nets playoff positioning: they only need to win two of their next three games to guarantee a playoff spot, and could still get in even if they do worse. With the Bucks, Bulls, and Magic on the docket, you can feel free to be cautiously optimistic.
The stats: 26 PTS, 12-22 FG, 9 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK, +26
Dominated the first half by doing what he does best: finishing plays inside, sneaking into his sweet spot for floaters, and getting tip-backs. There’s not much left to say about Lopez’s game at this point other than that he’s continuing to do what he’s done in every game for the past two weeks-plus.