Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sixers Topple Wizards

After dropping a close game to Sacramento at home, the Wizards took a trip up I-95 to take on the 18-26 Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers had been waiting on their star center Andrew Bynum to return from a knee injury, but after suffering a setback earlier this season, the big man from Plainsboro Township, NJ still hasn't played one game for Philadelphia, and his comeback has been delayed until after the all-star break. Meanwhile, Philly had been struggling to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt despite the stellar play of first time all-star point guard Jrue Holiday, who came into tonight's game averaging an incredible 19.4 points and 9 assists per game.

Despite losing their last contest to the Kings, Washington had looked much better over the last month, winning 7 out of their last 11 games, but the Wizards had been struggling on the road, and had won just 3 games all season away from the Verizon Center.

Washington was without rookie Bradley Beal, who went a little further up the interstate to New York to have his sore wrist examined by a hand specialist. Beal had suffered a minor sprain, landing precariously on his right wrist as the result of a hard foul by Kosta Koufos in a game against the Denver Nuggets during last week's 5 game road trip.

Despite trailing by as many as 7 in the 1st quarter, the Wizards were able to claw their way back, leading 28-25 going into the 2nd. The Wizards shot just 3-16 from the field, and were outscored 23-11 in the 2nd quarter, falling behind 48-39 going into the half.

Sixers guard Jrue Holiday drives between Wizards forward Nene, left, and center Emeka Okafor, right (Photo by Howard Smith- USA Today Sports)
Philadelphia led by 5 with 6:07 left in the 3rd quarter, going into the 4th with a comfortable 73-63 advantage. The Sixers were up by 16 with 6:27 remaining in the game, and held on for a 92-84 victory, weathering a late Washington run to cut the lead to 5 with 1:41 left to play.

The Sixers were led by Jrue Holiday with 21 points and 6 assists. Former Wizard Nick Young chipped in 18.

Washington was led by Nene with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Emeka Okafor had his 11th double-double on the season, tallying 15 points and 17 rebounds in the loss.