Nets overcome slow start to down WizardsDec 27, 2011 - 6:53 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Deron Williams scored 23 points and Kris Humphries added 21 and 16 rebounds, as the New Jersey Nets overcame a slow start to earn a season-opening, 90-84, win over the Washington Wizards.
Williams added eight assists, leading a New Jersey squad which bounced back from an early 21-point deficit. Anthony Morrow added 16 points and Johan Petro, starting in place injured center Brook Lopez, had 11.
"I think this is a sign we're a little more mature this year," Morrow said. "We're just [stronger] mentally."
Nick Young and Jordan Crawford scored 16 and 15 points, respectively, to lead the Wizards. John Wall, last season's Rookie of the Year runner-up, had 13 points on a 3-of-13 effort from the field.
Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee both had 11 points in the loss.
Washington held a one-point advantage heading into the fourth, then scored the first seven points of the quarter to grab a 74-66 lead. The Nets, though, dominated down the stretch.
They used a 21-5 run to take an 87-79 lead on Morrow's trey with 1:37 remaining. Wall hit a pair if free throws with under a minute remaining, making it 87-84, but he turned the ball over following a defensive stop. Morrow drained a pair from the charity stripe to seal the Nets' season-opening win.
"We turned the ball over and didn't execute down the stretch and it cost us," said Wall.
The Wizards were sharp early, knocking off what little rust had accumulated during the NBA's five-month lockout and abbreviated two-game preseason with an 8-0 opening run. They led by as many as 21 -- at 38-17 with 7:21 left in the half -- before taking a 45-37 lead into the break. But that cushion did not last.
New Jersey, led by Williams and Humphries, battled back to take their first lead, 58-57, with just under six minutes left in the third on a Williams trey. Both players scored 10 points and Williams added three assists in the quarter, which ended with a back-and-forth spurt.
The NBA lockout began July 1 and officially ended on December 8, when players and owners agreed to a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement. The result: a shortened, 66-game regular season...Lopez is out six-to-eight weeks with a fracture in his right foot, which recently required surgery... The Nets, who play 10 of their first 14 games on the road, host Atlanta on Tuesday before visiting the Magic on Thursday and the Hawks on Friday...The Wizards play 12 of their first 21 games at home, but hit the road for their next two, taking on the Hawks on Wednesday and the Bucks on Friday.
- NEW JERSEY: 90
Dec 26 9:35 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 66
End of 3rd
Dec 26 8:56 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 37
Dec 26 8:11 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 13
End of 1st
Dec 26 7:39 PM
- NEW JERSEY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Dec 26 7:15 PM
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