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Nets-Wizards Preview

AP - Sports

After ineffective play inside led to a disheartening loss, the Brooklyn Nets put forth a dominant performance in the paint to help Jason Kidd notch his first win as coach.

They'll try to exploit the Washington Wizards' suspect interior defense Friday night.

The Nets (2-2) were stunned in a 107-86 defeat at Orlando on Sunday, Kidd's first game on the bench after serving a two-game suspension due to a drunk driving charge. They managed just 26 points in the paint and shot 38.2 percent overall.

Brooklyn bounced back to score a season-high 58 points in the paint in a 104-88 home victory over Utah on Tuesday. Brook Lopez scored 19 of his 27 in the first half and shot 10 of 13 for the game.

The Nets, trying to avoid their first 0-3 road start since 2009-10, had been outscored by 28 points in the paint in the first three contests.

"I think as a team that's what we talked about yesterday. When we looked, you know we were kind of a jumping shooting team (in Orlando)," Kidd said. "Yesterday's practice was, the only way you could score was by getting the ball in the paint and the drills and the things that we did. The focus carried over to tonight."

Lopez totaled 24 points and 7-of-22 shooting in his past two games against Washington, but the Wizards (1-3) are one of the worst teams in the league in interior defense, surrendering 52.0 points in the paint per game.

They're also allowing opponents to shoot 50.2 percent from the floor, though they're coming off a 116-102 win at Philadelphia on Wednesday - five days after the 76ers knocked them off in their home opener.

Washington was again outscored in the paint, 42-38, but hit a franchise-record 18 3-pointers on 33 attempts. John Wall led the attack from long distance with a career-best five 3-pointers while scoring 24 points. Six Wizards made at least one 3.

Wall entered as a career 25.8-percent 3-point shooter and had never hit more than three in a game.

"It's something I worked on this summer," Wall said. "Some games they're gonna fall, some games they're not. They were doubling in the post off me. I just had to be confident and be able to knock them down and tonight they went in."

Brooklyn allowed its first three opponents to hit 41.3 percent of their 3-point attempts before limiting Utah to a 4-for-18 performance.

Washington, which had averaged 18.7 turnovers in its three losses, committed 11 in its first victory.

Paul Pierce has scored 61 points over his last two games against the Wizards while going 20 for 37 from the field.

Deron Williams has averaged 24.1 points in his last eight contests against Washington while hitting 50.0 percent of his 3-point attempts.

The Nets have won five of the past seven meetings.

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