WASHINGTON, DC –- On a night when Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett struggled to score eight points combined, the Brooklyn Nets blew an 11-point fourth quarter lead before falling in overtime to the Washington Wizards.
What it means: Pierce, who was feeling under the weather, needed overtime to avoid going scoreless for the first time since March 9, 1999. Pierce and Garnett combined to score only eight points and shoot 3-for-16. The Nets couldn't get any key stops when they needed them, continuing their up-and-down play to start the season.
But the Nets couldn't stop the Wizards from going on a 16-4 run to erase an 11-point deficit and take a 97-96 lead with 1:31 left in regulation. Garnett gave the Nets a two-point lead with 37.9 seconds left, but Nene tipped in a John Wall miss with 1.2 seconds to force overtime.
In overtime, Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer with 40.9 seconds left to give the Wizards a 108-106 lead and the Nets never recovered.
KG's minutes: The Nets played the opening game of their first set of back-to-back games this season. The biggest question is whether Garnett will play Saturday against Indiana. Coach Jason Kidd would not entertain the topic before the game, preferring to concentrate on the Wizards.
Garnett played 24 minutes with some coming in overtime. Considering that the Nets had two days off before the Wizards game, and have another three days off after facing Indiana on Saturday, Kidd may opt to play Garnett. Stay tuned.
Big Brook: After scoring 27 points in 25 minutes, Lopez stayed red hot early against the Wizards. The 7-footer hit eight of his first 10 shots and had 18 points in the first half. But they could have used even more from Lopez, who was held to five points in the second half and overtime.
Cool Joe: He has kind of been the forgotten man, but Joe Johnson sparked the Nets in the third quarter. The Nets led by 13 midway through the second quarter, but Washington used a 26-8 run to open a 65-60 lead with 7:54 left in the third. The Nets starters struggled early in the second half, but Johnson scored nine of his 16 points in the third quarter to tie the score at 73-73 going into the fourth. Johnson, though, did not score in the fourth or overtime.
What's next: The Nets return home to face the Indiana Pacers in the first meeting this season between the two East contenders.