Lopez helps Nets break 7-game losing streak with win over Wizards
As the Brooklyn Nets endured a seven-game losing streak, trade rumors engulfed the slumping team.
Two of the players mentioned in proposed deals, Brook Lopez and Jarrett Jack, shook off the chatter and each scored 26 points to help the Nets break their skid with a 102-80 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
Lopez scored 25 points in 18 minutes in the second half. He had 11 points in just over 2 minutes in the third as the Nets took control of the game to lead 71-58 and tacked on Brooklyn’s first eight points of the fourth. He said he was ignoring the trade talk.
"I don’t pay attention. I’m here. I’ve been here all day," Lopez said.
"I like it here. I’ve been here my whole career. I’m kind of partial to it now. I’ve been on the block for like 6 years now. It’s no big deal."
Jack, who has played for seven teams in 10 NBA seasons, has heard his name bandied about also.
"Clearly, those are things we can’t control. I speak for myself when I say, `I don’t want anybody else.’ I want to finish with the guys I started with. Clearly, that’s not up to me. It’s not my decision," Jack said.
Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins has been watching his team slump, and the win over one of the top teams in the East was very satisfying.
"It makes me smile," he said of the win and about the losing: "It was tough. It was really tough."
John Wall had 13 points and Kris Humphries, 12, for the Wizards.
Washington coach Randy Wittman, whose team has sailed through the first half of the season, saw disturbing signs.
"It was lost when we came out of the locker room," Wittman said.
"It had nothing to do with a run in the third quarter. We had no focus, no energy, no urgency. A lack of respect for your opponent and the game and that’s what happens. Lesson learned, hopefully."
Nets: Coach Lionel Hollins said he’s not looking forward to playing Washington on Saturday night. "I hate it. It’s a little like the playoffs. Play one and go on to another." … The Nets’ seven-game skid was their longest since an eight-game losing streak in February 2012.
Wizards: Pierce was charged with a flagrant foul late in the fourth quarter when he clipped Bojan Bogdanovich on his way to the basket. . Set season lows for points and greatest margin of defeat at home.
The Nets’ win overshadowed the first meeting of Brooklyn’s Kevin Garnett and Washington’s Pierce since March 4, 2007. Garnett and Pierce played six seasons together in Boston and last year with the Nets.
Garnett and Pierce hugged just before tipoff and playfully tapped each other when they first lined up together for free throws.
Pierce scored eight points while Garnett had four.
"We’re brothers. We’re always going to be brothers. Whenever we talk to each other on the court, it’s always in the spirit of fun. There was probably a little bit of trash talk, but it was in good fun," Pierce said.
Garnett returned after missing Brooklyn’s game on Wednesday. He was serving a one-game suspension for head-butting Dwight Howard.
"KG’s a player, a warrior. He forgot about it that day when he got thrown out," Hollins said.
Nets: Host Wizards on Saturday.
Wizards: Visit Nets on Saturday.