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Wall outplays Williams as Wizards beat Nets

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The Canadian Press
12/18/2013 10:21:11 PM
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NEW YORK -- John Wall had the swipe, then the swat.

Add 21 points to Wall's two big defensive plays on Deron Williams down the stretch, and the Washington Wizards won the point guard matchup -- and the game.

The Wizards completed a New York sweep on Wednesday night, beating the Brooklyn Nets 113-107.

Nene added 17 points in his return from injury for the Wizards, who had lost four in a row before beating the Knicks on Monday.

"Coming on this trip to New York and over the bridge to Brooklyn, it's huge," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "It's huge."

Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal each finished with 15 points for the Wizards, who got healthier during their stay in the Big Apple. Beal returned Monday after missing nine games with a stress injury to his right fibula and scored 21 points, and Nene was back Wednesday with 6-of-10 shooting off the bench after missing four games with right foot tendinitis.

Paul Pierce had a season-high 27 points for the Nets, and Brook Lopez added 22 after missing two games with a sprained left ankle. Joe Johnson finished with 20.

Pierce, who has been coming off the bench since returning from a broken right hand, made his first seven shots and finished 10 of 12. The Nets shot 53 per cent from the field, but the Wizards put seven players in double figures, made 12 3-pointers and outrebounded Brooklyn 51-31.

"It's easy to sit here and talk to you guys about what kind of night I had, but bottom line, I really don't care. We lost the game. That's pretty much all that matters," Pierce said. "We come out here and try to win as a team. It's not about how good Paul Pierce is scoring. Tonight we had the inability to rebound, we didn't defend the 3 and it cost us the game. That's all that I'm worried about right now."

The Nets were chipping away at a 12-point deficit when Wall stopped their momentum with under 5 minutes left when he swiped the ball from Williams and went in alone for a layup to make it 99-93. Williams brought the Nets to 101-100 with a jumper, but Marcin Gortat tipped in a miss before Beal's 3-pointer made it 106-100 with 1:08 to play.

"We just stayed calm. We weathered the storm," Wall said. "We didn't get down even when they cut it to one. Came back down and made a big play."

Nene then hit two free throws on Kevin Garnett's sixth foul for an eight-point advantage, but Williams scored four straight points. He was attacking the basket again after Martell Webster's free throw gave Washington a 109-104 edge, but Wall blocked the shot, Webster made two free throws and the Wizards held on.

"I just knew D-Will's been playing very well since he came back from his ankle injury and I know he can definitely shoot the ball from deep," Wall said. "He attacks the basket. He's a very tough guard. I just wanted to be physical with him and try to disrupt his rhythm."

Webster finished with 13 points and Gortat had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Wizards made seven of their first nine 3-point attempts and built a quick 11-point lead, but the Nets trailed only 30-28 after one. Washington went back up by 10 late in the half, but the Nets got the final four points to make it 59-53. Brooklyn shot 56 per cent in the first half, but Washington made up for that by going 9 of 12 from behind the arc.

Williams had 15 points and 13 assists but shot just 5 of 13 from the field.

Trevor Booker grabbed 13 rebounds for Washington, including nine on the offensive end. The Wizards had 19 offensive boards to five for Brooklyn.

"That was it. Rebounding," Williams said. "It's been a couple of games that we've lost because of offensive rebounds. It's not just the bigs, it's the guards. They shot a lot of 3s, a lot of long rebounds. So it's on us, too, to get in there and rebound."

NOTES: The Nets had a three-game home winning streak snapped. ... Wizards G Glen Rice had surgery in New York on a broken right wrist and will be sidelined three to six weeks.

John Wall (Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant /Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jesse D. Garrabrant /Getty Images)
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