NBA: Wizards rally to hang 10th straight loss on Nets

Field Level Media via Reuters

Posted at Feb 11 2022 01:25 PM

Washington Wizards guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) shoots over Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (2) at Capital One Arena. Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters
Washington Wizards guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) shoots over Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (2) at Capital One Arena. Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Raul Neto scored a season-high 21 points Thursday night as the host Washington Wizards rallied late in the third quarter and eked out a 113-112 victory over the skidding Brooklyn Nets, whose losing streak reached 10 games.

Neto made 7 of 9 shots and all six free throws as Washington placed seven in double figures after trading Spencer Dinwiddie, Montrezl Harrell and Davis Bertans before the trade deadline.

Kyle Kuzma totaled 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his first career triple-double and reserve Anthony Gill also finished with a career-best 15 points. Thomas Bryant, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Deni Avdija added 13 points apiece and Rui Hachimura chipped in 12 as Washington shot 50.6 percent and won for the second time in 10 games.

Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 31 points but shot 9 of 22 as Brooklyn also dropped to 2-11 since Kevin Durant sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee on Jan. 15. The Nets are on their first 10-game skid since dropping 16 straight in the 2016-17 season.

The latest loss came after they traded James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond and Seth Curry on Thursday.

Rookie Cam Thomas added 27 points and Blake Griffin contributed 15 points and nine rebounds as Brooklyn shot 46.4 percent and blew an eight-point lead in the third.

Brooklyn held a 66-58 lead on a basket by Patty Mills with 10:15 remaining, but the Wizards ripped off a 16-6 run and took a 74-72 lead on Hachimura's 16-footer with 5:10 left. Washington then ended the third by scoring 10 straight points, taking an 86-78 lead on Kuzma's reverse layup with 31.9 seconds left.

Washington opened a 100-87 lead when Bryant's off-balance 3-pointer beat the shot clock with 7:27 left. Brooklyn responded with a 20-9 run and got within 109-107 when Thomas converted a four-point play with 1:06 remaining. Brooklyn was within 111-110 when Irving sank two free throws with 7.3 seconds remaining.

Caldwell-Pope hit two free throws with 6.3 seconds left and the game ended with a disjointed possession by Brooklyn. Thomas saw his contested 3-pointer fall well short, and Griffin hit the putback layup as time expired.