Wizards meet Nets with playoff hopes in the distance

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Neither team began the resumption on a good note.

Washington absorbed a 125-112 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday afternoon when its defense allowed 52.5 percent shooting.

With Beal out, Washington’s starting backcourt was comprised of Troy Brown Jr. and Shabazz Napier, who combined for 27 points. Rookie Rui Hachimura led the Wizards with 21 points while Robinson added 20 when he wasn’t defending Phoenix star Devin Booker.

“Offensively, I thought he played a little bit at the right pace,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of Robinson. “He has some good speed. He has some ball-handling ability.”

Washington did not lose ground with the loss. The Wizards simply switched who they are chasing for the eighth seed for a possible play-in game.

The Wizards are now six games behind the Nets, who started off well, but were dominated in the third quarter before making the final minutes respectable in a 128-118 loss to seventh-place Orlando (31-35) on Friday.

“It’s definitely disappointing, we put in all of the work, put in those hours, and then we come out like that,” Brooklyn center Jarrett Allen said. “It’s deflating, but we have to come out and play our game. We’re very capable of responding as a team.”

Brooklyn allowed 59.1 percent shooting through three quarters and trailed by as many as 30 as the Nets took their first loss since Jacque Vaughn took over for Kenny Atkinson on March 7. The Nets won their final game before the shutdown on Spencer Dinwiddie’s game-winner over the Lakers, 104-102, on March 10 but he is out along with DeAndre Jordan and Taurean Prince, who all tested positive for the virus.


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