Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Nets Need OT, Top Wizards in Pre-Season Opener

Wizards' center Nenê led all scorers with 19 points

So this is what $183 million ($101 million payroll + $82M in luxury taxes) gets you: The new-look Brooklyn Nets visited Verizon Center last night and left with a 111-106 victory over the Washington Wizards in overtime. It was the pre-season opener for both teams; and at times, it showed. The Nets and Wiz combined for 47 turnovers... while new head coach Jason Kidd limited his big four (All-Star guard Deron Williams didn't dress) to just 12 minutes each. Nenê led all scorers with 19 points (8-11 from the field) while backup point guard Tyshawn Taylor paced Brooklyn with 16 points.

Rookie Glen Rice (12 points in 17 minutes) tied the game at 97 with less than a second remaining in regulation; but the Nets outscored Washington 14-9 in the extra frame to secure the win. The Wizards jumped out to an early five point lead; but Kidd switched to his second unit, and the visitors soon built leads of nine (second quarter) 13 (third quarter) and seven (fourth quarter) before the score tightened in the final minutes.

Bradley Beal (#3) defends Alan Anderson

Washington was without #3 overall pick Otto Porter, Emeka Okafor, Chris Singleton and Trevor Booker; but head coach Randy Wittman got a good look at his second unit, three of which scored in double figures (Al Harrington almost made it four, with 9 points.) Meanwhile, the Nets got to show off their new stars... Andrei Kirilenko and former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Pierce got into early foul trouble (three fouls in the first quarter) but Kirilenko flourished with 11 points, five boards, five dimes and three steals in just 24 minutes. The Nets almost doubled Washington in assists (29-15) and edged them on the boards (48-45) as well.

Paul Pierce (#34) and Kevin Garnett (r) trade green for black

The Wizards shot a horrendous 39.8% from the field, and an even worse 11.1% (2-18) from beyond the arc. $80 million man John Wall (yes, the Wizards spend $ too) showed flashes of brilliance, but missed nine of 14 shots on his way to a 16, eight and five (rebounds) line in 30 minutes of action. Jan Vesely started in place of injured Okafor and led all players with 12 rebounds before fouling out; but got beat badly on defense several times and scored only three points of his own.

Al Harrington makes his Wizards' debut

The Wiz now make their way to Rio de Janeiro for a Saturday showdown with Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls (dinner's on Nenê) before returning home to host the defending champion Miami Heat next Tuesday at 7:00. Tickets are still available to see LeBron, D-Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the champs: Click here to purchase tickets online.

Click here for last night's box score.