Nets, Wizards conclude home-and-home set
(Sports Network) – The Washington Wizards can clinch a third consecutive
postseason berth with a win this evening versus the New Jersey Nets in the
back end of a home-and-home series at the Verizon Center.
The Wizards suffered a 120-114 overtime loss to New Jersey on Saturday at
Continental Airlines Arena, as Antawn Jamison posted a season-high 37 points
for Washington, which has dropped four in a row.
Jarvis Hayes added 29 points, while DeShawn Stevenson posted 13 points and
Darius Songaila chipped in 12 for Washington, which is sixth in the Eastern
Conference standings and 2 1/2 games behind the Miami Heat for the top spot in
the Southeast Division.
If Washington loses to New Jersey on Tuesday, it can still clinch a playoff
spot if Indiana loses at Philadelphia.
The injury-plagued Wizards have lost three straight at home and are 26-12 as
the host this season. They are without guard Gilbert Arenas (knee) and forward
Caron Butler (hand) for the remainder of the season.
New Jersey will open a short two-game road tonight and has won three of four
and five of its last seven games, including the recent overtime victory
Vince Carter recorded a triple-double with 46 points, 16 rebounds and 10
assists, while Jason Kidd also posted a triple-double with 10 points, 16
rebounds and 18 assists for New Jersey, which is seventh in the Eastern
Conference playoff race, just a half game ahead of Orlando.
Kidd and Carter became the first teammates to record a triple-double in the
same game since the Chicago Bulls’ tandem of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen
turned the trick during the 1989 season.
Richard Jefferson added 27 points for the Nets, who will also visit Cleveland
on the brief trek and are 14-23 away from the Meadowlands this season.
Tuesday’s showdown between New Jersey and Washington is the fourth and final
meeting of the regular season. The Nets have won the first three encounters
this season, four straight and six of the last seven meetings.
New Jersey has won four of seven and six of its last 10 trips to D.C.