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    Kuzma posts first triple-double as Wizards deal Nets 10th loss in row

    Feb 11, 2022
    Kyle Kuzma Kyrie Irving
    Kyle Kuzma flaunts his playmaking that led to dishing out 10 assists.
    PHOTO: AP

    WASHINGTON — Kyle Kuzma had 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his first career triple-double, leading the injury- and trade-depleted Washington Wizards to a 113-112 win over Kyrie Irving and the equally in-flux Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night (Friday, Manila time).

    Wizards vs Nets recap

    Raul Neto scored a season-high 21 points in his first start of the season, and reserve Anthony Gill had a career-high 15 points for the Wizards, who took control at the end of a scoreless third quarter from Irving and hung on in the closing seconds.

    Irving scored 31 points as the only star on the Nets' makeshift roster as Brooklyn's season-worst skid extended to 10 games. Cam Thomas added 27 points.

    Earlier Thursday, the Nets broke up their Big Three, sending James Harden and Paul Millsap to the Philadelphia 76ers for disgruntled point guard Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and draft picks. Brooklyn had hoped Harden, Irving and Kevin Durant could win a championship, but the trio played only 16 games together.

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    With Durant out with a left knee injury and Irving only able to play road games because he isn't vaccinated against COVID-19 as required by New York City, the Nets used their 30th starting lineup in 55 games.

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    It wasn't good enough against the Wizards, who won for the third time in 12 games. Washington lost star Bradley Beal to season-ending wrist surgery this week and made several deals of its own on Thursday, adding Kristaps Porzingis and trading away Spencer Dinwiddie, Davis Bertans, Montrezl Harrell and Aaron Holiday.

    While the Nets still have reasonable hope of a deep playoff run in an Eastern Conference that lacks a dominant team, Washington's final 28 games are likely to be a dry run for next year and beyond.

    The Wizards woke up an indifferent home crowd with a 13-0 run starting late in the third quarter for an 89-78 lead, the first double-digit advantage for either team. Thomas Bryant beat the shot clock with a corner 3 to make it 100-87 midway through the fourth quarter, and the Nets couldn't rally despite 14 fourth-quarter points from Irving.

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    Brooklyn had a chance to tie it at the buzzer, but Thomas airballed a 3 and Blake Griffin converted a meaningless putback.

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      COACH IN TIME OUT

      Wizards player development coach Mike Batiste was suspended two games without pay for going into the stands to confront a heckling fan near the end of Monday night's 121-100 loss to Miami, the NBA announced Thursday. Batiste had to be led off the court by Harrell in what turned out to be the center's last game with Washington.

      TIP-INS

      Nets: Brooklyn's latest starting lineup included Irving, Thomas, Griffin, Patty Mills and Kessler Edwards. ... Irving played in his 13th game since his season debut on Jan. 5. Brooklyn fell to 4-9 with Irving in the lineup, losing its last seven. ... The Nets were missing F Nic Claxton (left hamstring), F LaMarcus Aldridge (left ankle), Durant (left knee) and G Joe Harris (left ankle surgery).

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      Wizards: Washington used its 15th lineup in 54 games. Neto was joined by Kuzma, Bryant, Corey Kispert and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Kuzma is the only Wizard who has started every game. ... C Daniel Gafford missed his second straight game in the NBA's health and safety protocols.

      UP NEXT

      Nets: At Miami on Saturday.

      Wizards: Host Sacramento on Saturday.

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      Kyle Kuzma flaunts his playmaking that led to dishing out 10 assists.
      PHOTO: AP
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