After struggling at home out of the gate, Brooklyn all of a sudden has won three straight at Barclays Center and has looked like a rejuvenated team since the return of point guard Deron Williams, who has averaged 18.8 points his last four games.
The Nets (9-15) are hoping for the return tonight of Brook Lopez, who has missed the past two games with an ankle injury.
The Wizards (10-13) are coming off a 102-101 win Monday against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, aided by some questionable coaching late by Knicks’ coach Mike Woodson.
Brooklyn received a dominant performance from Joe Johnson Monday night against the 76ers. Johnson scored a season-high 37 points and drilled 10 three-pointers. He hit an NBA-record eight threes in the third quarter en route to 29 points in the frame.
The Nets made a franchise record 21 three-pointers in the win. The Wizards meanwhile have lived and died all season by the three-pointer. When the Wizards shoot over 40 percent from beyond the arc, the team is 7-1. However, it is just 3-12 when it shoots under that mark.
Washington hit on 11-of-18 threes against the Knicks and overall shot a season-high 54.2 percent from the field.
In the last matchup between these teams on Nov. 8, the Wizards earned a 112-108 overtime victory in Washington. Bradley Beal led all scorers with 29 points on 11-of-20 shooting. John Wall posted a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds, and Marcin Gortat also notched a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Key Matchup: Deron Williams and John Wall will be tonight’s key matchup of superstar point guards. Head-to-head, Wall actually holds a 4-3 record in seven games. D-Will holds the advantage in points per game at 23.3, but Wall leads in assists with 8.3 per game. Over his last six games, Wall is averaging 20.5 points, 10.0 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game.
Players to Watch: Since being moved into a starting role for the Wizards, Martell Webster has thrived. In 13 starts, Webster has averaged 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, and the Wizards are 7-6 in those games. Against the Knicks Monday, he shot 6-of-8 from downtown.
Paul Pierce will also be a player to watch in this one. Jason Kidd said Pierce will continue to come off the bench “for the time being,” andMonday he poured in 14 points off the bench. The Nets bench scored 47 points against the Wizards last time, so Pierce could help contribute to another strong performance from the second unit.