Defeat is Washington's fifth in row
NEW YORK -- Andray Blatche led a bevy of Brooklyn bench players with 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Nets erased an early 17-point deficit to beat the Washington Wizards 106-101 on Monday night.
Kris Humphries, who was the team's original starting power forward at the beginning of the season before falling out of the rotation, added 20 points and nine boards for Brooklyn. Mirza Teletovic added 14 points and MarShon Brooks chipped in 12 for the Nets, who will host Detroit on Wednesday night before they open up at home in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Nets reserve rookie Toko Shengelia, who had played only 67 minutes all season, saw 25. After averaging 1.1 points and 0.7 rebounds in 18 games, Shengelia finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
John Wall led Washington with 18 points and 12 assists while Trevor Booker added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards, who lost for the fifth straight time.
Brooklyn trailed for pretty much all of the game before finally taking a 95-94 lead on Shengelia's layup with 4:57 left in the fourth. Booker's hook shot with 4:37 remaining gave the Wizards a 96-95 lead, but after the Wizards failed to inbound the ball, Teletovic nailed a 3-pointer to make it 98-96 for the Nets with 3:19 left.
After Cartier Martin's 3-pointer made it 101-101 with 1:43 left, Blatche's layup gave Brooklyn the lead for good 103-101 with 55.5 remaining
Having already sealed the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Brooklyn Nets had a long injury list before the game -- as have many NBA teams with their playoff seeds locked.
Starters Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Reggie Evans and Joe Johnson all played cheerleading roles on the bench and were joined by Keith Bogans and Jerry Stackhouse.
Brooklyn will play the Chicago Bulls or Atlanta Hawks in the first round.
Gerald Wallace, who's been struggling this season as he's looked to find his way in an offense led by Williams, Johnson and Lopez, was Brooklyn's lone starter on the floor after missing his last two games because of a lower left leg contusion. Wallace's injury came early in the second quarter of the Nets' win at Boston last Wednesday night.
Wallace, who averaged 15.2 points in 16 games with the Nets after he was acquired from Portland last season, has just posted 7.8 points a game this season. He scored just two points on three shot attempts in 23 minutes.
Humphries, who been almost a non-factor all season long after signing a two-year contract extension during the offseason, resembled the player he was a year ago.
Before the national anthem, the Brooklyn Nets aired a short video clip on the big screen above midcourt and had a moment of silence for the bombing that occurred earlier in the day at the Boston Marathon. - AP