A pair of Eastern Conference teams playing out the string will meet in Newark on Wednesday as the New Jersey Nets play host to the Washington Wizards.
The Nets, who are in the Atlantic Division basement, have dropped three straight and five of six overall after a 105-100 home loss to Cleveland on Monday.
Gerald Wallace, recently acquired from Portland, finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds for New Jersey in that one. Deron Williams had a team-high 28 points while Kris Humphries chipped in 13 and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who will be trying to salvage the finale of a three-game homestand tonight.
"We fought so hard," said Wallace. "We gave them too many second chance opportunities. That is something we can't do, we got to rebound better as a team."
The Wizards, who are closing up a six-game road trip tonight, have lost two straight and five of six overall after a 97-92 setback in Memphis.
John Wall filled the stat sheet in that one with 25 points, six assists and six rebounds, while Jordan Crawford added 22 points as Washington dropped to 1-4 on its current trek.
"We are getting better as a team," Wall said after the game. "We just have stretches in the third or fourth quarter. We try to go 1-on-1, and that hurts us."
Washington could get a boost tonight with the expected debut of Nene, the talented Brazilian power forward acquired from Denver along with Brian Cook and a future second-round pick in exchange for JaVale McGee, Ronny Turiaf and Nick Young in a three-team trade last Thursday.
New Jersey, of course, continues to play without center Brook Lopez (sprained right ankle) and could be without guard Jordan Farmar (strained right groin) for a fourth straight game. The Wizards' Andray Blatche, meanwhile, is out while working on his conditioning.
The Nets had lost seven of eight to the Wizards before a season-opening win in the nation's capital back on Dec. 26.