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Brook Lopez, Nets rout Wizards to help playoff chances

Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets reacts after

Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets reacts after a basket in the second half against the Washington Wizards at Barclays Center on Friday, April 10, 2015. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

It's all coming together for the Nets, and at just the right time.

The Nets pounded the Wizards, 117-80, at Barclays Center Friday night to keep themselves in prime position to make the playoffs for a third straight season.

Brook Lopez was a beast for the Nets, finishing with 26 points and nine rebounds. Bojan Bogdanovic was perfect from beyond the arc, nailing a career-high six three-pointers and chipping in a career-high tying 20 points off the bench.

The Nets (37-42) -- which opened the fourth quarter with a 20-1 run -- remain in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Bradley Beal paced the Wizards (45-34) with 24 points, and Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 16 rebounds. John Wall (resting) didn't play.

The Nets were scrappy on defense, forcing 21 turnovers and scoring a season-high 38 points off them. But the Nets really took Washington apart in the fourth quarter offensively, using a beautiful display of ball movement and selfless play to seize control.

Leading 75-62 at the beginning of the quarter, the Nets suddenly kicked it into high gear and seemingly blew old friend Paul Pierce & Co. all the way back to the nation's capitol. Riding the hot hand of Bogdanovic, who canned a trio of three-pointers during the game-deciding stretch, and the inside presence of Lopez, the Nets' offense ignited.

Lopez's follow-up dunk off an offensive rebound with 7:29 left handed the Nets a 95-63 cushion, ensuring they would earn their eighth win in their last 10 games.

"Well, if we don't keep it going we'll be at home and if we keep it going we'll be in the playoffs," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. "We win out, we're in. That's the beauty of it. We don't have to worry about anybody else. We'd like for those other teams behind us to lose, but if they don't and we win, it doesn't matter."

With Wall resting for the second straight game, Washington was a bit out of whack at the outset and the Nets took advantage. Lopez sizzled from the opening tip, canning more field goals than the Wizards all by himself during the first quarter.

Lopez played the entire 12 minutes, connecting on 7 of 12 attempts. Washington nailed just 6 of 19 shots in the first as the led by 17 heading into the second quarter. They led by as many as 27 points in the second quarter, settling for a 54-38 cushion at the half.

Notes & quotes: Alan Anderson missed his fourth straight game nursing a sprained left ankle. Hollins didn't have an update on Anderson and sounded unsure if he'll be able to return any time soon for their playoff push: "I don't know. I don't know if he's coming back at all."


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