By RICH DUBROFF, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Since starting the season with seven losses in eight games, the Washington Wizards have stabilized. They’ve gone 8-7 since then, but haven’t been able to make up ground in the standings.
After the Wizards’ 102-88 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night, they improved their home record to 7-5. But, they’ve lost nine of 11 on the road, and with a four-game trip beginning Monday night in New York against the Knicks, they know they’ll have to play much better away from the Nation’s Capital.
“In order to be a good team, a great team, we have to be able to win on the road,” Bradley Beal said. “If we want to have success down the road, that’s something we’re going to have to do.”
After their game in New York, Washington plays at Atlanta, Cleveland and then Indiana. Of the four, only the Pacers currently own a winning record.
“The biggest thing for us is putting a streak together — regardless of whether it’s on the road or at home,” Beal said.
The Wizards won handily, their fourth double-digit win. John Wall scored 30 points, Beal added 22. It was Brooklyn’s sixth straight loss.
“We weren’t sharp,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Obviously we didn’t shoot the ball well. Funny, I thought our defense was decent.”
Allen Crabbe led Brooklyn with 14 points. The losing streak is the Nets’ longest since an eight-game skid in February.
At 88 points, the Nets — coming off a double-overtime home loss to Memphis on Friday night — had their lowest-scoring game of season. It also was the lowest total the Wizards have allowed.
The Wizards took the lead midway through the first quarter and used an 11-0 run to start the second half and take an 53-39 lead with 9:09 to play in the third quarter. They sealed it with a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter, and led 93-73 with 5:09 to play.
Nets: Suffered their sixth loss without a win in the second hall of back-to-backs…. G D’Angelo Russell, who attempted 70 field goals in the previous three games, was 3 for 8 from the field.
Wizards: F Jeff Green was out with lower back spasms. … Tomas Satoransky got his first start of the season. … F Otto Porter returned after missing Friday’s game due to personal reasons. … DC United standout Wayne Rooney was on hand for the game. … Didn’t attempt a free throw until 5:01 remained in the second quarter.
MORRIS BETTER OFF THE BENCH:
Washington F Markieff Morris rebounded from a 1-for-10 shooting night Friday in a loss at Philadelphia to score 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting. He had 15 points in the fourth quarter.
Coach Scott Brooks began using Morris off the bench in a win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 20, and likes what he sees.
“He’s been terrific in this role,” Brooks said. “He accepted it, and he understands that it’s best for the team.”
NO LEVERT FOR NETS: G Caris Levert suffered a scary dislocation of his right foot on Nov. 12. He had been Brooklyn’s leading scorer in the team’s first 14 games, but since then they’ve lost eight of 10.
“We lost one of the best shooters in the NBA,” Spencer Dinwiddie said.
Atkinson said the team must adjust.