Jordan Crawford scored 27 points and the worst-in-the-NBA Washington Wizards (4-23) showed they can still win a game every once in a while, breaking an eight-game losing streak Friday night with a 105-97 victory over the visiting Orlando Magic. Nene added season highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds and shot fourth-quarter free throws while hearing chants of "R-G-3!" - the new equivalent of "M-V-P!" in a city where Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is the new superstar.
Elsewhere: The Brooklyn Nets gave P.J. Carlesimo a victory in his debut and the Charlotte Bobcats a 17th straight loss, getting 26 points from Brook Lopez in a 97-81 rout in New York. A day after firing Avery Johnson, the Nets played as they did last month, when they were 11-4 and Johnson was Eastern Conference coach of the month. They are just 4-10 in December. . . . Daniro Gallinari scored a career-high 39 points and the Denver Nuggets spoiled Dirk Nowitzki's first home game since returning from knee surgery by beating the Mavericks, 106-85, in Dallas. . . . Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili combined to score 84 points, and the Spurs snapped the visiting Houston Rockets' five-game win streak with a 122-116 victory in San Antonio.
Will Bynum had 25 points and 10 assists, leading another spirited performance by the Detroit bench, and the Pistons beat the visiting Miami Heat, 109-99, despite 35 points by LeBron James. Miami was without Dwyane Wade, suspended for a game by the NBA for flailing his leg and making contact with a Charlotte player Wednesday. . . . Blake Griffin had 22 points and 13 rebounds, and the visiting Clippers edged the Jazz, 115-114, for their 16th straight win.
Patience for P.J.
Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said he wants patience with interim coach P.J. Carlesimo. A day after firing Johnson after just 28 games, Prokhorov said he won't rush into a coaching search, even with big names such as Phil Jackson available and Prokhorov vowing to spend whatever it takes to build a champion.
What, me dirty?
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade defended himself against critics who are calling him a dirty player after he was suspended one game by the NBA for kicking Charlotte's Ramon Sessions in the groin area.
Wade sat out Friday night's game against the Detroit Pistons.
"I'm far from being a dirty player, + my intent was never 2 kick Ramon Sessions" Wade said on Twitter. "I thought he did it on purpose and it wasn't called," Sessions said after the game Wednesday.
- Associated Press