Nets blow out Wizards, 117-80, with John Wall resting

By on April 11, 2015

NETS 117, WIZARDS 80

For someone who just had a career night, Bojan Bogdanovic seemed unusually quiet in the locker room, speaking barely above a whisper.

The 25-year-old would later say he was under the weather, suffering from a sore throat.

“I can’t breathe good,” he said.

But he still played hard on Friday, motivated by the Nets’ desire to make the playoffs for a third straight season.

Meanwhile, with a spot in the postseason already secured, Washington rested All-Star point guard John Wall. The Nets happily took advantage, blowing out the Wizards, 117-80, before an announced sellout crowd of 17,732 at Barclays Center. They remained a full game ahead of ninth-place Indiana for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East with just three games remaining.

“If we don’t keep it going we’ll be at home,” Lionel Hollins said afterward. “If we keep it going we’ll be in the playoffs. If we win out, we’re in and that’s the beauty of it.”

Brook Lopez led the Nets (37-42) with 26 points and nine rebounds while Bogdanovic equaled a Nets rookie single-game record with six 3-pointers for 22 points (matching a career high), going 6-for-6 from long distance.

Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov witnessed it all from his suite high above the court.

“They are finding me,” Bogdanovic said of a Nets team that handed out 29 assists and committed just six turnovers. “Many of the shots were open, just the last one was over a hand.”

His teammate Thaddeus Young could only smile when told of Bogdanovic’s illness since Young had just mentioned how reserved he is.

“No, I didn’t know it at all,” Young said. “Bogey is so quiet to the point that you don’t know too much of anything that’s going on with him.”

The Nets, who once couldn’t buy a win at home, have now won six of seven at Barclays Center with Friday’s result the largest margin of victory ever there.

“It was a no-show, that’s what my thoughts are on today,” said Wizards coach Randy Wittman. “We had no rhyme or reason to what we were doing out there right from the start.”

The Nets jumped on the Wizards (45-34) early, leading 31-14 after the first quarter as Lopez made 7 of 12 shots for 14 points on an assortment of floaters and jumpers, equaling the Wizards’ output.

The Nets extended their lead to 27 on a driving lay-in by Lopez to make it 47-20 with 5:33 left in the half.

The Wizards whittled it down to 54-38 at the half as Bradley Beal scored 14 points in the second quarter. They cut it to 56-46 in the third.

But Bogdanovic and Deron Williams (nine assists) responded with back-to-back threes as part of a 10-2 run, and suddenly the lead was back to 66-48 with 7:58 left in the third.

“We’re playing like a team,” Williams said. “We’re not playing like a group of individuals that was thrown out there . . . and I think that’s been the difference.”

Alan Anderson missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle. Hollins said he was uncertain when he would return.

“I don’t know,” Hollins said. “I don’t know if he’s coming back at all.”

A Nets spokesman would not get any more specific with an update. “We’ll let you know,” he said.

It was the only uncertainty of the evening.

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