At the start of Friday night’s matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, the Washington Wizards appeared headed for a 1-4 start entering into a three-game road stretch.
That is, until a second-half surge and timely production from Nene and Trevor Ariza lifted the Wiz Kids to a less-than-likely 112-108 overtime win over Jason Kidd’s Nets.
Trailing 99-97 with nine seconds left in the fourth quarter, Brooklyn’s Kevin Garnett laid down a block on John Wall before the Wizards nabbed the rebound. Wall tried once more with a missed layup before Nene sank the putback to send the game into overtime.
But the shot accounted for just two of his 12 total points tallied in the quarter and, without all of them, the Wizards would have stood little chance against Brooklyn’s all-star cast of players.
“Nene was huge in that fourth quarter and overtime,” Wizards head coach Randy Wittman said after the game. “No question about it – I’ve stated this a number of times. He’s so important to us, not just points and stat sheets. It’s not a stat sheet thing with Nene. His presence on the floor goes a long way, both offensively and defensively.” [Read more...]