The Skinny: Nene and the Wizards started the game red hot from the outside, hitting on nine of their first 10 shots from the field to establish a 10-point lead halfway through the first quarter. Andray Blatche entered the game to a chorus of boos but immediately hit a bank shot to silence the crowd. Nene scored 10 of the Wizards 30 points in the quarter, which ended with Washington still up by 10.
The Wizards increased their lead to 14, but the Nets used four unanswered three pointers – two by Deron Williams and two by Mirza Teletovic – as part of a 12-0 run to cut the deficit to two. But Williams picked up his third foul with five minutes left in the quarter, allowing Washington to go back up 10. A few late buckets by Joe Johnson and buzzer-beating floater by MarShon Brooks cut the Wizards lead to three to close out the half. Washington’s Jordan Crawford scored 13 points all in the second quarter.
Williams scored the first five Nets’ points of the second half, including converting a three-point play to tie the game at 57 in the opening minutes of the third quarter. But the Wizards answered right back to open a seven-point lead. Blatche re-entered the game and gave the Nets a jolt at both ends of the floor, leading to a 12-4 Brooklyn run and just a one-point deficit after three quarters.
The teams battled back and forth early in the fourth quarter, with the Nets taking an 86-84 lead – their first of the game – on a Brooks layup with seven minutes to go. A Crawford three put Washington back on top, but Brook Lopez gave the Nets the lead again with a tip-in. Both teams then went 3:30 without scoring a field goal, but a Crawford acrobatic layup tied the game at 91. Lopez committed an offensive foul with 41.2 seconds remaining, but the Nets got the rebound off a Garrett Temple miss. P.J. Carlesimo called a timeout with 18.7 seconds left and 17 seconds left on the Nets’ shot clock. After great ball movement, Gerald Wallace missed a close-range lay-up, but a put-back dunk by Lopez gave the Nets the lead with 3.2 seconds to go. At the other end, Nene hit a running hook shot to send the game to overtime.
Washington started the overtime period with eight straight points. Keith Bogans hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to five with just over a minute to play. Wallace hit a pair of free-throws which made it a one-possession game. The Nets got the ball off a Crawford miss, and Williams drove right to the hoop for a layup to be down by just one. Carlesimo opted not to foul right away, which knocked 10 seconds off the clock down to 15.2 seconds. Crawford proceeded to miss both free-throws, and as the Lopez got the rebound and tried to call timeout, Nene committed his sixth foul of the game to foul out and send Lopez to the line all the way at the other end of the floor. With 14.1 remaining, Lopez tied the game with the first free-throw and gave the Nets the lead with the second free-throw. Crawford missed a mid-range floater following a timeout, and the Wizards fouled Williams with 3.4 seconds. D-Will hit both to put the Nets up three. But Bradley Beal drilled a three as time expired, sending the game to double overtime.
The teams traded buckets to start double overtime, but the Nets took a three-lead on a three-point play by Bogans off a goaltending. He followed with a steal and a layup to put the Nets up five. The Wizards fought back to close the lead to two, but Lopez hit two free throws to put the Nets back up four with just over one minute remaining. Kevin Seraphin responded with two free-throws at the other end cutting the lead to two. Williams couldn’t hit a jumper, and Washington grabbed the rebound. Blatche fouled Beal, who hit both free-throws to tie the game with 9.1 seconds left. Once again, it was “Iso Joe’s” time to shine. Johnson eluded a double-team to his right and hit a fadeaway jumper to put the Nets up two with 0.7 left. Crawford came up short on a prayer, and the Nets got the double overtime victory.
High Scorers: Lopez led all scorers with 27 points on 8-of-15 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds for a double-double. He was also 11-of-14 from the charity stripe. For the Wizards, Beal led the way with 24 points on 10-of-19 from the field.
Key Stats: The Wizards shot lights out in the first half at 57 percent (23-of-40), but in the second half and overtime periods, the team shot a more characteristic 39 percent (20-of-51). The Nets shot 7-of-11 from three-point range in the second quarter but just 1-of-13 for the rest of the game.
Who Was Hot: Blatche recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds in just 19:27 off the bench. Johnson hit on 7-of-14 shots, including the game-winner, for 18 points. Bogans was effective in the overtime periods with eight points after missing all six of his shots from the field in regulation. For the Wizards, Crawford tallied 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Before fouling out, Nene scored 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Temple turned in an all-around effort with eight points, seven rebounds and a career-high 11 assists.
Who Was Not: Williams put up great numbers (24 points and 10 assists for a double-double), but it took a 9-of-23 shooting performance to get there. Seraphin was 1-for-9 from the floor in 15:53 off the bench for the Wizards. Emeka Okafor was 1-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Fun Fact: Carlesimo is now 4-1 as Nets’ interim head coach, which is the best start for a Nets’ head coach since Lawrence Frank (5-0) in 2003-2004.
There must be something about playing bad teams that makes the Nets want to go to double overtime. But just like the Dec. 14, 2012 double overtime win over the Pistons, Johnson came through with the game-winner.
Maybe the lack of intensity early in the game had to do with the fact that the Nets were coming off playing the best team in the league (the Thunder) to then having to play the worst team in the league (the Wizards).
But somehow, this team found a way to battle all the way back – first from a 14-point deficit in regulation and then from an eight-point deficit in the first overtime.
That first overtime was certainly strange, with the Wizards orchestrating an 8-0 run to start the frame followed immediately by a 9-0 Nets’ run before Beal hit the three to send the game to double overtime.
The Nets are now 3-0 in overtime games this season, while the Wizards fall to 0-5 in overtimes. Brooklyn is also 11-0 against teams under .500, which is exactly what they should be. Washington has now lost 12 of its last 13 games.
Blatche looked great against his former team and didn’t let the crowd faze him as he notched a double-double in limited minutes. Though his shooting deteriorated as the game progressed, D-Will continued his dominant play in the Verizon Center, as he’s averaged 23.8 points and 10.7 assists in his last four games in Washington.
Brooklyn (18-15) hosts the Sacramento Kings Saturday night at Barclays Center. The 7:30 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.