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Nets' reserves come through in win vs. Wizards

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- After the Brooklyn Nets lost to Toronto Sunday afternoon, sealing the team's fate as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, Nets' interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo informed his reserves that they would get the majority of the minutes Monday night against the Washington Wizards.

That was sweet music for someone like little-used rookie point guard Tyshawn Taylor, who was one of three Nets' rookies to register a career high to lead the Nets to a 106-101 victory over the Washington Wizards at the Barclay Center.

"When you sit on the bench, you tend to second guess your game," said Taylor, the rookie out of Kansas who averaged just 1.9 points per game in 36 appearances prior to Monday night's 14. "This was like my playoff game. I wanted to go out there, have fun and get a win."

The Nets (48-33) played without most of their starters, including the team's top three scorers, Deron Williams (left knee contusion), Joe Johnson (left heel) and Brook Lopez (mid-back contusion).They trailed by as many as 17 points in the first half, then roared back in the second half to get the win.

Kris Humphries scored a season-best 20 points, and he also grabbed nine rebounds.

"We're not going to be successful in the playoffs if we don't get the Kris Humphries we know," Carlesimo said. "The more time he gets, the more success he gets. We better get play from him like this."

Carlesimo was also impressed with the play of Taylor.

"Tyshawn has shown a number of times that he can play," Carlesimo said. "He runs the pick-and-roll so well and the bonus is that he can knock down shots. He made the biggest shot of the game."

The Nets had seven players in double figures, with Andray Blatche also scoring 20 and hauling down 12 rebounds.

"We took advantage of the young guys' energy," Blatche said. "We let the young guys play and more importantly, we got the win. It's all about giving them the opportunity to play and prove themselves."

Taylor hit a clutch 3-pointer with 23 seconds left to seal the victory. Mirza Teletovic (14 points) and Toko Shengalia (11 points and 11 rebounds) also scored their career highs in the win. MarShon Brooks added 12 and C.J. Watson 11 for the winners.

The Wizards (29-52) received 18 points and 12 assists from John Wall, but the Nets held him to just 5-of-19 shooting from the floor.

Kevin Seraphin had 17 points, Trevor Booker added 16 points and 13 rebounds and Cartier Martin added 14 for Washington.

The Wizards led by as much as 17 in the first half, but the Nets' reserves played well in the second quarter, slicing the lead to 56-50 at the half.

"I don't care if it's the second-to-last game or not," Wizards head coach Randy Wittman said, "You have to have a little bit of pride to play defense in the fourth quarter to win the game. We didn't play with a purpose. We let them shoot 70 percent in the fourth quarter, scoring 33 points. That's just not playing hard. We missed a lot of shots and turned the ball over. It looked like they just wanted to get the game over with. That's how it looked to me."

NOTES: The Nets also were without top rebounder Reggie Evans (sore left shoulder), veteran Jerry Stackhouse (stiff neck) and Keith Bogans (sore lower back). ... Carlesimo vowed to have to have at least some of the walking wounded back for the regular-season finale Wednesday night against Detroit. ... While most of the Nets' starters were out, forward Gerald Wallace returned to action after missing the previous two games with a lower leg contusion. "We'll see how well he comes back," Carlesimo said of Wallace. "We need to find out where he's at. Hopefully, he can play relatively pain free." Wallace played 22 minutes, scoring just two games.... Carlesimo said that the team's improvement, winning 48 games this season compared to just 22 last year, was a tribute to the players. "To make the playoffs is very significant," said Carlesimo, who has guided the Nets to their first playoff appearance since 2007. "We haven't been there in a while. We overcame a lot of injuries and won on the road. It's very significant." ... Impressive Wizards rookie Bradley Beal, one of the front runners for NBA Rookie of the Year honors, will miss the last two games of the regular season with a stress fracture of his right leg. Beal averaged nearly 14 points per game this season. ... The security around the Barclays Center was heightened after word of the Boston Marathon tragedy reached the arena. There was definitely more of a presence with police and security personnel inside and outside the arena.
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