WASHINGTON - Lionel Hollins may not come across as someone who knows much about hip hop, given his old-school demeanor, but that doesn't mean he's totally impervious to some of the genre's old catchy tunes.
While describing the problems that Wizards guard John Wall could pose for them Friday night, Hollins dropped a Ying Yang Twins reference, reciting their hook on an old rap song by Atlanta's Lil John and the East Side Boyz.
"Shooo," Hollins said. "From the window to the Wall -- John Wall running up and down."
Turned out the Wall didn't pose much of an issue for the Nets on Friday night. But the guy whose name was floated in trade rumors for the better part of the previous 24 hours sure gave Washington fits.
Playing like someone inspired by the trade chatter, Brook Lopez followed up a one-point, three-foul first-half dud with a riveting performance in the second half. He scored 25 points off the bench, and that effort -- paired with Jarrett Jack's 26 points, seven assists and six rebounds -- propelled the Nets to a 102-80 victory over the Wizards at Verizon Center, snapping their season-high losing streak at seven games.
"There was a stretch where they had a bad matchup that he was just flat quicker than the guy," Hollins said of his 7-foot center. "I know that's an amazing statement. But he got to the basket, he got to the foul line. Brook played extremely well. But I thought Jarrett Jack played well, I thought our whole group played well.
"I thought [Brook] played well because he came out there with a lot of fire, and a sense of urgency, and he was free. And that's the way I like to see him play."
Friday night also signaled another turn-back-the-clock moment -- the first time Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were on the same court in opposing uniforms since 2007. They relished their chance to catch up, something they haven't had many opportunities to do in person.
The Nets elected not to re-sign Pierce, partly because of the luxury-tax ramifications of bringing him back and also because they wanted to give younger players such as Bojan Bogdanovic and Mirza Teletovic more of an extended look.
Pierce knows the losing is eating at his pal. Still, he's convinced that Garnett is committed to seeing the rest of this season through in Brooklyn despite the team's struggles. Walking out on a tough situation, Pierce insists, isn't in Garnett's makeup.
"It's tough on him, any competitor of that nature," said Pierce, who had eight points and six rebounds. "He's an all-time great. He thrives on competition and wanting to be one of the best. But he's loyal also. He's not going to cry foul and demand a trade."
"He's a guy that's going to go no matter what the situation is and give 110. That's just the type of person he is."
At least on this night, Garnett wasn't forced to watch another Nets stinker. Things in Brooklyn haven't exactly gone according to plan, creating a bit of frustration for the 38-year-old veteran of 20 NBA seasons.
"It's a process. It's not easy," said Garnett, who had four points and five rebounds. "I've kind of put my own personal to the side for the sake of the betterment and the reality of what I'm living with."