• Erik Slater

Nets grind out win over Wizards despite shooting struggles

The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Washington Wizards 103-98 Tuesday night, despite shooting just 10-43 from the three-point line.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert led Brooklyn with 16 points apiece. DeMarre Carroll scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Spencer Dinwiddie notched a double-double, scoring 11 points and dishing 12 assists in the win.

Bradley Beal led all scorers with 28 points on 11-33 shooting from the field.

The Nets struggled with their outside shooting throughout the game. Brooklyn's dangerous three-point shooters Allen Crabbe (3-14) and Joe Harris (1-5) combined to shoot just 4-19 from three.

The three-point shot has been a major weapon for the Nets this season. Kenny Atkinson's squad averages 11.7 made three-pointers per game, the fifth most in the league.

The Nets led by 14 points in the third quarter but watched the Wizards cut the lead to one at the end of the period.

Brooklyn trailed by one with 2:10 remaining when Carroll picked off a Beal pass and drove the length of the court for a layup plus the foul.

Washington would regain the lead on a Beal layup with 52 seconds remaining.

Atkinson made his next play call with confidence. Dinwiddie dribbled to his right for what appeared to be a Crabbe screen. However, Crabbe slipped the screen to the top of the key and drilled an open three-pointer off the pass from Dinwiddie.

"He's a 40% three-point shooter, second best three-point shooter in the league. I had total confidence in him," said Atkinson when asked about the play call.

The Nets would get the ball back off a Beal miss up two with 38 seconds left. A stagnant possession led to a wild Carroll missed shot, but Hollis-Jefferson outworked two Wizards for a huge offensive rebound.

Hollis-Jefferson has vastly improved his offensive game, but he continues to make the hustle plays on both ends of the floor that Nets fans have grown so accustomed to.

"Those hustle plays, that's what we need from him," said Atkinson when asked about Hollis-Jefferson's performance.

The Nets improved to 11-15 with the victory. They are just 2.5 games back of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Brooklyn will remain at the Barclays Center for a hometown matchup with the Knicks Thursday night.