WASHINGTON -- Looks as if the Nets are in dire need of an antidote. Otherwise, this Jekyll-and-Hyde syndrome might turn into a full-blown epidemic. Particularly on the road.
With their eyes set on picking up their first victory in three tries away from home this season, the Nets instead found a way to cough it up late. They blew an 11-point lead with 4:46 left in regulation and dropped a 112-108 overtime decision to the Wizards, a loss that had them shellshocked as they left the Verizon Center Friday night, headed back home for Saturday night's game against the undefeated Pacers.
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"It stings. We were looking forward to getting our first road win," Deron Williams said. "We had control of the game several times and just let it slip away. It's been kind of a trend for us to not close out quarters, not close out halves. We've got to find a way to close out games on the road, and so this is definitely disappointing.''
The Nets (2-3) led only once in overtime, taking a 106-105 edge on Williams' three-pointer with 2:14 to play. But the same problem that cropped up during the second and third quarters -- when the Wizards bombed away from the perimeter and erased a 14-point deficit -- happened yet again.
Trevor Ariza swished an open three-pointer to give the Wizards (2-3) a 108-106 advantage with 40.9 seconds left, a lead they never relinquished. And the Nets were left scratching their heads.
"I don't know. If I had an answer, I'd tell you," said Joe Johnson, who had 16 points. "I have no idea. It's a little mind-boggling but, hey, we'll figure it out."
Brook Lopez paced the Nets with 23 points but wasn't overly involved in the second half, something that's becoming a trend.
Paul Pierce, a game-time decision after coach Jason Kidd said he became ill Thursday night, was scoreless before draining a jumper with 2:50 left in overtime. He had four points, shooting 1-for-5 from the field.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 29 points.
It appeared as if the Nets had it sewed up late in the fourth. Kevin Garnett nailed a short jumper with 37.9 seconds remaining for a two-point edge, and with help from Garnett, Williams stole John Wall's errant pass on the Wizards' ensuing possession. But inexplicably, the Nets didn't use up a lot of the shot clock on their possession and Garnett misfired on a long jumper with 14.9 seconds left.