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“In that fourth quarter, we just came out to play 12 minutes,” Whitman said. “We just wanted to get the 12 minutes over with. We lost our pride in defending, which is really discouraging considering the way we’ve shown we can defend. … I don’t care if this is the second to last game or not, you’ve got to have a little bit of pride to play defense in the fourth quarter to win a game. Twelve minutes to go, ‘Let’s just get these 12 minutes over with.’

“That’s what it looked like to me.”

Brooklyn trailed for pretty much all of the game before finally taking a 95-94 lead on Shengelia’s layup with 4:57 left in the fourth. Booker’s hook shot with 4:37 remaining gave the Wizards a 96-95 lead. Shengelia later blocked Wall’s layup attempt. The Wizards then failed to inbound the ball and Teletovic nailed a 3-pointer to make it 98-96 for the Nets with 3:19 left. Booker then tipped in a missed jumper by Wall that evened it up, 98-98, but Teletovic then hit a 3-pointer that gave the Nets a 101-98 lead with 2:33 left.

After Cartier Martin’s 3-pointer made it 101-101 with 1:43 left, Blatche’s layup gave Brooklyn the lead for good. Martin tried to tie it with another 3-pointer but missed and Taylor followed up with a 3-pointer of his own to make it 106-101 with 22 seconds left.

Nets starters Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Reggie Evans and Joe Johnson all played cheerleading roles on the bench and were joined by Keith Bogans and Jerry Stackhouse.

Brooklyn will play the Chicago Bulls or Atlanta Hawks in the first round. The Hawks have a half-game lead over the Bulls with two games remaining. If the Hawks go 1-1 and the Bulls win their game against Washington on Wednesday night, the Nets will face the Bulls.