A month ago Drew Gooden’s home court was at an LA Fitness facility a few miles outside of Washington, D.C.
Now he’s squarely in the U.S. capital and helping the Washington Wizards‘ playoff drive.
“You guys joke about me being old, but I’m still Drew Gooden,” the 32-year-old said. “And that’s what I do. Once I see a couple going in I feel like I can’t miss. Tonight the ball was definitely on my side and it dropped for me tonight.”
Washington completed a sweep of the season series (3-0) and moved ahead of Brooklyn for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
The game between two teams that could meet in the postseason had a playoff atmosphere in front of the Wizards third sellout of the season.
“The longer we go here, the more games are going to feel like that. I thought the fans in the building were electric, all night,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “Our guys played off of that and it was an intense game, there is no question about that.”
“A couple times early in the first half, (the game) was tinkering on a break point,” Wittman said. “I thought our guys, Drew, Andre and Al, changed the tone of the game when they went in. Their physicality bled under the other guys.”
With starting center/forward Nene sidelined (sprained left knee), the Wizards signed Gooden — now in his 11th NBA season — to a 10-day contract on Feb. 26 and another on March 8. Soon they’ll have to decide whether or not to keep him for the remainder of the season.
Washington’s Bradley Beal, who sprained an ankle in Friday night’s overtime win at Orlando, started and added 15 points.
The Nets, who went the final 6:22 without a field goal, were led by Marcus Thornton’s 19 points. Joe Johnson added 16 and Paul Pierce had 15.
“We got great looks, it just didn’t go down,” Nets coach Jason Kidd said. “We executed plays, I think we might have gotten a little frustrated on the defensive end, when we were giving up shots, and that led to the carry-over on the offensive end.”