WASHINGTON — Ramon Sessions scored 18 points and had a season-high 13 assists while starting in place of the injured John Wall to help the Washington Wizards defeat the Brooklyn Nets 121-103 on Wednesday night.
Bradley Beal scored 25 points, and Marcin Gortat had 16 points and 12 rebounds as Washington remained at least mathematically alive in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.
Wall sat out for the first time this season with a sore right knee for the 10th-place Wizards (38-40), who remained 3 1/2 games behind Detroit for the final postseason berth. The Wizards (38-40) need to win out, have the Pistons (42-37) lose out and overcome Chicago (39-39) to make the playoffs. Washington visits Detroit on Friday.
Thomas Robinson scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Nets, who have lost six straight games by an average of 19.3 points.
Sean Kilpatrick added 15 points off the bench on a night Brooklyn sent out its 20th starting lineup of the season.
Wall has been the one sure thing in Washington’s inconsistent season, playing every game before Wednesday in his third All-Star season while averaging a career-best 19.9 points and 10.2 assists.
But in his first start of the year, Sessions picked up 10 of his assists by halftime, helping the Wizards to a two-point lead at the break.
A 9-0 third-quarter run helped Washington gain some separation. Otto Porter converted a three-point play to start it, Gortat sank two foul shots and then a layup, and Markieff Morris followed with a reverse layup to make it 66-57.
Later, Porter’s turnaround baseline jumper stretched it to 79-66, and his reverse layup off Sessions’ feed made it 88-75 to end the third. Washington began the fourth quarter on a 10-1 run to put the game away.
Nets: C Brook Lopez and F Thaddeus Young will rest through the remainder of the season. ... Brooklyn signed C Henry Sims for the remainder of the season. ... Reserve G Donald Sloan returned after missing Sunday’s loss. ... Reserve F/C Willie Reed has left the team for the remainder of the season for personal reasons.
Wizards: In the second quarter, Porter hit an apparent 3-pointer that was waived off three possessions later for a shot clock violation. ... G/F Alan Anderson missed his ninth straight game.
Nets: At Charlotte on Friday.
Wizards: At Detroit on Friday.