On the first night following an active NBA Trade Deadline, the Washington Wizards squeaked out a win over the Brooklyn Nets, 113-112. Both the Nets and the Wizards made drastic roster changes earlier in the day, with Brooklyn flipping James Harden and the Wizards trading away Spencer Dinwiddie, Davis Bertans, Aaron Holiday and Montrezl Harrell.
No players involved in the trades were available, obviously. The Wizards were also without Bradley Beal while the Nets played without Kevin Durant.
Kyle Kuzma led the Wizards to victory with an all-around performance that resulted in his first triple-double in his NBA career. Kuz played nearly 38 minutes and finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Although he did commit six turnovers, the Wizards as a team added only five more as the team finished with 11 for the game.
With the team thin at guard following the trades they made, the Wizards started veteran Raul Neto. Neto responded in a big way, scoring 21 points and dishing out six dimes. It was a surprising development given the guard hadn’t reached double-digit points in any of his last eight games entering Thursday night.
Young Wizards Vary in Performance
The young Wizards, who have inevitably become one of the focuses down the stretch, produced a variety of different results on the court against the Nets. Rookie Corey Kispert got the start, which he should get more chances with moving forward, but struggled from the field. He finished with six points on 2-13 shooting, including 2-8 from behind the arc.
Rui Hachimura finished with the best +/- on the team at +11. He did a little bit of everything while producing 12 points, four rebounds and four assists. He also knocked down both of his three-point shots. He has connected on multiple 3’s in back-to-back games, something he has only done three times on the season now.
Deni Avdija knocked down multiple three-pointers as well. He shot 2-6 from deep and 5-11 from the field, finishing with 13 points to go with four rebounds.
The Wizards will look to make it back-to-back wins when they face the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night. The Kings, like the Wizards, are a new team following multiple trades ahead of the NBA trade deadline.