No need for poetic prose or potent adjectives that pop off the page. This simple sentence sums up what happened Friday: The Nuggets lost to the Washington Wizards.

The Wizards.

Washington had won just seven games all season, but three out of their past four, since the return of John Wall.

Still. The Wizards.

On a late possession of the 112-108 home loss, with Denver down by two points, point guard Ty Lawson drove toward the basket and attempted an off-balance layup, blocked by the uber-athletic Wall. The Wizards' point guard then sunk a pair of free throws, and the stunned fans sauntered out of the Pepsi Center.

The Wizards.

"It slapped us and embarrassed us," Nuggets coach George Karl said of his team's effort. "We all have got to take responsibility, coaches and players."

The coach's voice then got stronger and he said: "The value of every possession with anger and intense commitment is the only way we're going to be a very good basketball team. If (the players) think that's not true, they are crazy."

Denver is now 24-18 and Washington is 8-29, which remains the worst record in the NBA.

And the home team will surely look back at this one as one of the worst losses of the season. The Wizards played with poise down the stretch, and while Denver's Andre Miller scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, he did miss two key free throws down the stretch and made the biggest non-play of the day.

Trevor Ariza misses a corner 3-pointer but Miller just watched as Kevin Seraphin, standing beside Miller, easily grabbed the rebound for a putback to take a four-point lead in the final minute.

Before the game, Karl said: "Ty Lawson, sometimes isn't assertive enough. Sometimes your best player has got to say: 'Give me the ball. Give me the responsibility.' "