Occasionally on Friday, the Nuggets actually played defense.

It was like an homage or something to the old days with Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony. The Nuggets lost at Washington — yes, Washington — 119-113. The home team made 11 3s, and did so on 45.8 percent shooting. (The Wizards, for the record, are known for not making 3-point baskets.)

"I'm a little concerned that we don't respect the opponent on the road enough to think defense first," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We got beat on the perimeter. The ball was loose and free. ... Our pick-and-roll defense was weak, our individual build-outs were wild and crazy, and the discipline to win the game was, 'We're going to try to outshoot them rather than defend them aggressively.' "

Washington. Again.

Yes, the Wizards are 11-9 since John Wall returned from injury, but the Nuggets, jockeying for homecourt in the first round of the playoffs, have now lost both games this season to the lottery-bound team, the latest defeat Friday at the Verizon Center.

Down the stretch, Ty Lawson had his shot blocked and Andre Miller missed a layup, while the Wizards (16-37) made foul shots. Denver is now 34-22, with a game Saturday at Charlotte.

"They're a better team than their record says," Denver forward Wilson Chandler said of the Wizards. "And they just played harder than us, that's the bottom line, guards and the bigs."

Denver only made four 3s, missing 18. The Nuggets trailed by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter before making a valiant comeback, including a big corner 3 from Andre Iguodala, cutting the lead to three.