Sunday was the Nets’ most devastating loss of the season as their favourites crumbled in the final seconds to the Washington Wizards squad. Washington was trailing Brooklyn 146-141 with 12 seconds remaining on the clock. But Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal had different plans.
Beal raced up the court and scored a three-pointer from the top of the key, cutting Brooklyn’s lead to two points with about eight seconds left. Nets guard Joe Harris then tossed the inbounds pass to Washington guard Garrison Matthews, who quickly passed the ball to Westbrook. The 2016-17 MVP let a triple of his own fly, draining the three to put the Washington Wizards up 147-146. With 4.3 seconds remaining, Brooklyn still had a chance to win but Nets forward Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot blew an open layup off a great inbound pass by Irving with 0.7 remaining.
Russell Westbrook had a great night, scoring a game-high of 41 points in 35 minutes followed by Bradley Beal, who scored 37 points in 38 minutes in the loss. The Wizards, as a team, shot 51.9 percent overall and 30.8 from deep. Kevin Durant led the way for Brooklyn, ending with 37 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists in 38 minutes. Harris hit a career-high eight three-pointers and a career-high 30 points, one rebound, and five assists in 32 minutes.
“The defense just wasn’t good enough, and I think everyone realizes,” said Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash to reporters. “We obviously had many opportunities to win it down the stretch at the end of the game there but we probably didn’t deserve it with the way we guarded all night. Frustrating night. The level dropped, and we’ve got to pick it up.”
Washington does not appear to be contending for the Eastern Conference crown anytime soon. With the loss, the Nets end their season-high four-game winning streak and fall to 13-9 on the season while the Wizards improve to 4-12.