On Friday night, the Nets defeated the Washington Wizards by a final score of 95-78.
The Skinny: Deron Williams drained six three-pointers in the first five minutes to score 18 points on Brooklyn’s 24-2 run to start the game. He later hit his seventh three of the first quarter and scored 23 of the Nets’ first 31 points. The Nets led by 24 after the opening frame, as the Wizards shot just 6-of-24 from the field.
The pace slowed down considerably to start the second quarter, but Williams drained his eighth three of the half after reentering. He finally missed from beyond the arc but then started attacking the rim to pick up some points in the paint. He then hit his ninth three of the half to set a new NBA record for made three-pointers in a half, and he set a Nets’ franchise record with 12 made field goals in a half. Brooklyn opened a 26-point lead at the break.
D-Will drained three-pointer No. 10 on his first shot of the third quarter. The Wizards actually went on to outscore the Nets 25-15 in the third quarter, but Brooklyn still maintained a 16-point lead after three.
Washington’s second unit got to within 13 to start the fourth quarter. The Nets improved slightly offensively, so the Wizards chose the strategy of consistently fouling Reggie Evans to send him to the free-throw line. It was an adventure for Evans at the line, but the Wizards were not able to muster much of an offensive attack at the other end. Williams made his 11th three-pointer but finished one shy of tying the NBA record of 12 held by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall.
High Scorers: Williams led all scorers with 42 points on 15-of-24 from the field and shot 11-of-16 from three-point range, which set a career-high for made threes. For the Wizards, John Wall led the way 16 points on 6-of-19 shooting.
Key Stats: Led by Williams, the Nets shot 12-of-27 (44 percent) from beyond the arc, while the Wizards shot just 3-of-17 (18 percent) from downtown.
Who Was Hot: Despite questionable free-throw shooting, Evans turned in another solid performance with 11 points and a game-high and career-high 24 rebounds. Nene scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds for the Wizards.
Who Was Not: Mirza Teletovic struggled in this one, shooting 1-of-8 from the outside. Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza combined for 10 points on 5-of-18 from the field.
Fun Fact: D-Will’s three-point shooting percentage has increased each month this season. He shot 26.9 percent in November, 32.9 percent in December, 42.0 percent in January and 49.0 percent in February. After shooting 11-for-16 in this one, his March percentage from downtown is now 54.5.
Jim Mancari, ContributorWhat a way to end a three-game home losing streak!
Williams put this game away early with his deadly outside shooting. He had as many points as the entire Wizards team (33) after the first half.
D-Will broke the Nets’ franchise record for made three-pointers (11) in a single game. The previous record was nine set by Vince Carter in 2006. Carter was 9-20 from downtown in that game.
He also scored the most points by a Net in any game this season, with the previous high-mark being 35 by Brook Lopez. Williams has now scored at least 20 points in five of the last six games.
The second half was a bit troubling, but Williams did all the damage he needed to do in the first half. Turnovers though continue to be a problem for this team, as they committed 19 in this one.
The Nets didn’t even need Lopez and Joe Johnson, but that doesn’t mean they can sit back and rely on D-Will to carry them every game.
While Williams was the main story in this one, it certainly helped that the Wizards shot the worst shooting percentage (35.6 percent, 32-of-90) of any Nets’ opponent this season. Washington is now a league worst 5-24 on the road.
Brooklyn (36-26) heads down south to Atlanta Saturday night to face the Hawks, who are right in the middle of the pack with the Nets in the Eastern Conference standings. The 7 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.