The Wizards completed a New York sweep on Wednesday night, beating the Brooklyn Nets 113-107.
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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.
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 percent 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 percent 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."
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.
MVP: John Wall. Wall did it all Wednesday night. He set the tone early with his scoring, controlled the pace, then had a tremendous block on Deron Williams late in the fourth. He was the best player on the floor and looks like an All-Star.
X factor: Paul Pierce. Pierce may not last long coming off the bench. He poured in 10 of his 12 shots for 27 points and used his vintage hesitation moves to get in the paint. Without Pierce's effort this would not have been close down the stretch.
That was ... a fun playoff preview? Wall and Williams can light up the gym. Brook Lopez and Marcin Gortat are two of the last remaining low-post centers. Sprinkle in the shot-making of Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Brad Beal, and Martell Webster, and you have a fun series.