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News » Wizards-Nets Preview

Wizards-Nets Preview

Wizards-Nets Preview
The New Jersey Nets keep finding ways to overcome their opponents, while the Washington Wizards continue to fall deeper into the Southeast Division basement.

The Nets go for their fourth straight win Tuesday night against a Wizards team they've lost to once at home in the past eight seasons.

New Jersey (9-7) trailed Phoenix by 11 points heading into the fourth quarter Sunday, but Devin Harris scored 21 of his career-high 47 points in the final 12 minutes as the Nets won 117-109 to cap a 3-1 western swing.

"I was just in attack mode," said Harris, who has hit 64.3 percent (27-of-42) from the field in his last two games. "That's the key to my pull-up jumper. Before in my career, I wasn't able to hit it with any consistency."

Harris is averaging 33.0 points and 7.0 assists during the Nets' three-game winning streak.

"That game could have gone south a bunch of different times," said New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank, whose team has won two overtime games on the road during its current 5-1 stretch. "Our guys showed great guts. And you can't say enough about the effort of Devin. He was phenomenal."

After averaging 15.4 points in 25 games with the Nets in 2007-08, Harris is fourth in the NBA this season with a career-high 25.3 points per game. He's also averaging a career-best 6.4 assists for New Jersey, winner of seven of its last nine.

Harris has stepped up his production since opening night at Washington on Oct. 29, when he had 13 points, five rebounds and five assists as New Jersey won 95-85.

Vince Carter scored eight of his 28 points in the final 3:36 against the Suns as the Nets outscored Phoenix 43-24 in the final period. Carter had 21 points and six rebounds against Washington in the Oct. 29 matchup, and is averaging 31.3 points, 8.7 boards and 7.3 assists in his last three home games versus the Wizards.

While New Jersey looks to keep its roll going, the Wizards (2-12) will be trying to rebound after letting another close game slip away.

Washington trailed 62-45 in the third quarter against Atlanta on Saturday but tied it at 98 on a 3-pointer from Caron Butler with 1:10 remaining. The Hawks' Al Horford responded with a tiebreaking 3-point play with 12.4 seconds left that sent the Wizards to a 102-98 loss - their second in a row and seventh in eight games.

"So much energy trying to get back from (17 points down) that you're just fatigued at the end," said Washington interim coach Ed Tapscott, who's 1-2 since replacing Eddie Jordan on Nov. 24.

Forward Antawn Jamison didn't see it that way.

"That's an excuse. We (were) in the game. We had the opportunity to win the game," said Jamison, who scored 17 of his team-high 26 points in the second half and finished with 13 rebounds. "We've been through this before."

Washington has dropped seven of eight games this season that were decided by eight points or fewer.

Jamison averaged 25.5 points and 11.0 rebounds in two games at New Jersey last season, but Washington lost both. The Wizards have dropped six consecutive road games in the series since a 97-86 victory Nov. 20, 2004, and 14 of the previous 15 at the Meadowlands.

The Nets have won 10 of the last 12 matchups overall.

Butler, who had 13 points and 11 rebounds against the Nets in the first meeting of the season, averaged 25.7 points versus New Jersey in 2007-08.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 1, 2008


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