The Washington Wizards opened their preseason schedule Tuesday night by rallying from a double-digit deficit late in the third quarter to force overtime, but with reserves on the court down the stretch, they were unable to put the finishing touches on the comeback in a 111-106 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Glen Rice Jr.’s follow dunk of a miss by Eric Maynor tied the score at 97 with half a second to play, and the game required another five minutes to determine a winner when Nets reserve forward Mirza Teletovic missed a desperation heave at the buzzer.
Brooklyn scored seven consecutive points in overtime, five of which came from rookie center Mason Plumlee, to pull away in front of what was left of an announced 9,743 at Verizon Center.
“I think we did all right,” Wizards starting off guard Bradley Beal said. “We did a lot of things that we should have been doing and things we could have done a lot better. Of course that’s what exhibition is for, but like [Coach Randy Wittman] told us earlier, we have to use these games to be able to show teams we can play.”
The Wizards got a game-high 19 points from starting center Nene, who shot 8 for 11 in 22 minutes. Point guard John Wall had 16 points, eight assists and five rebounds in 30 minutes, and Kevin Seraphin and Martell Webster each scored 13.
Washington, which departed for the airport shortly afterward to catch a flight to Brazil for its next preseason game Saturday against the Chicago Bulls, shot just below 40 percent and missed 16 of 18 from three-point range.
It also had 23 turnovers, with Wall and Seraphin committing team highs with four apiece.
“We’re just too careless,” Wittman said. “You’re going to turn the ball over, but too many careless ones. Three or four three-on-two or two-on-one situations that we turned the ball over. Those have got to be baskets and opportunities to score.”
Tyshawn Taylor led the remade Nets with 16 points and six assists, although he had a game-high seven of Brooklyn’s 25 turnovers.
Teletovic added 15 points and six rebounds, and starting center Brook Lopez also scored 15.
Other new additions for the Nets include former Boston Celtics all-stars Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who combined to score seven points in their debut for first-year coach and playing contemporary Jason Kidd.
Trailing by 13 in the third quarter, the Wizards climbed all the way back to tie it at 92 with 2 minutes 21 seconds left in regulation on Rice Jr.’s pull-up jumper from the foul line. Brooklyn scored the next four until backup point guard Maynor’s three-point play.
Plumlee then made 1 of 2 free throws preceding Rice Jr.’s dramatic close to the first 48 minutes.
“It’s just one of those nights where we turned the ball over too many times, especially at the start of the third quarter,” Wall said. “That’s one thing we’ve really got to work on. Any game where we’re up or down, we always have a bad start to the third quarter. We’ve got to figure out a way to break through that.”