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Wizards 112, Nuggets 108

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- The Washington Wizards used an 18-4 run to start the fourth quarter to rally past the Denver Nuggets 112-108 on Friday night.

Washington's John Wall blocked Ty Lawson's lay-up attempt in the final seconds to deny Denver a chance to tie the game and force overtime.

The Wizards won their fourth game in their past five and improved their road record to 2-16. They also claimed a sweet victory for Nene, the power forward they acquired from Denver for JaVale McGee last March in a trade. It was the first time Nene had played against the Nuggets. Nene spent his first nine full NBA seasons in Denver before the trade.

Washington (8-29) trailed 87-80 entering the final period, but the Wizards began to click offensively, something they've struggled to do all season.

The Wizards scored 67 points in the second half and finished the night 11-for-23 on 3s, a 47.8 percent clip. Washington shot 51.3 percent from the field.

Reserve forward Kevin Seraphin scored 14 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 18. Bradley Beal led six Wizards in double figures with 23.

The Wizards also outrebounded Denver, 45-34. The Nuggets entered with a plus-150 rebounding advantage, second best in NBA.

Lawson scored 23 of his 29 points in the third quarter to lead Denver (24-18). Nuggets coach George Karl failed in his second bid to win his 1099th career NBA game, which would place him sixth on the league's all-time list, one win ahead of Larry Brown. Up next is Phil Jackson, who's in fifth place all-time with 1,146 career coaching wins.

Denver lost its second in a row after it had won six in a row. The Nuggets fell to 15-3 at home.

Nene finished with seven points and four rebounds. McGee scored six.

The Wizards' bench outscored Denver's, 60-44. Wall, in his fourth game back from a knee injury that cost him the season's first 33 games, scored 14 points and hit two free throws in the final seconds to seal it.

NOTES: Guard Jordan Crawford returned to Washington's lineup Friday after missing the previous four games with a sore left ankle. "(Thursday) we came in for a light, brisk workout and I thought he looked good and had a bounce to him," Washington coach Randy Wittman said. Crawford leads Washington with a career-best 15.6 points a game. He's also averaging career highs in assists per game (4.6) and rebounds per (4.0). Washington entered Friday 4-27 when Crawford plays; 3-2 when he does not. ... Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler returned to Denver's lineup Friday. He missed Wednesday's game at Oklahoma City for precautionary reasons. Chandler missed 30 games with a hip injury before returning on Sunday. ... Asked to compare Wizards' Wall with Hall-of-Fame-nominee Gary Payton, whom he coached in Seattle, Nuggets coach George Karl said: "Wall has a defensive base like Gary, really low, really stays in his defensive stance. And offensively, they both probably couldn't make shots early in their career. Gary would will a ball into the basket. He'd threaten a ball if it didn't go into the basket."
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