Thaddeus Young scored 29 points, rookie Michael Carter-Williams started cold and finished hot while John Wall did just the opposite in scoring 26 points, and the Philadelphia 76ers are a surprising 2-0 after pulling away in the fourth quarter Friday night for a 109-102 victory over the Washington Wizards.
After stunning the two-time defending champion Miami Heat on Wednesday, the 76ers rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit and ruined the home opener for Wall and the Wizards, who have lost two games to start a season that has essentially been labeled as playoffs-or-bust by owner Ted Leonsis.
Young scored 10 in the fourth quarter, Evan Turner finished with 23 points, and Spencer Hawes had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the 76ers. Carter-Williams went 6 for 15 from the field after an 0-for-5 start and finished with 14 points and five assists. It was inevitable climb-down from his stellar NBA debut when he had 22 points, 12 assists, nine steals and seven rebounds against the Heat.
Wall made his first seven shots but went 3 for 12 the rest of the way. He looked unstoppable in the first quarter when he reeled off 10 points in a 55-second span, beating his chest with his right fist and shouting at himself after making his second 3-pointer.
But the Wizards couldn’t hold a lead at home facing a team that is expected to be among the NBA’s worst. Washington led by 12 points after the first quarter but failed to get a field goal for nearly 6 minutes in the second.
When the 76ers cut the lead to two, the Wizards scored seven straight points and led 54-44 at the half. A 12-point lead in the third quarter was wiped out in a matter of minutes, and the teams were tied at 74 entering the fourth.
Tony Wroten’s three-point play tied the score at 89 with 6:49 to play, and Carter-Williams followed with a 3-pointer to give the 76ers their first lead of the game. They never trailed again. Turner’s putback made it a five-point game, and Hawes’ 3-pointer and Young’s layup stretched the lead to nine with 3:49 remaining.
Trevor Ariza added 14 rebounds for the Wizards, who played without forward Nene (strained left calf). Marcin Gortat, acquired only a week ago in a trade, had 12 points and seven rebounds in his first start for Washington.
NOTES: The Wizards have started 0-2 for the fourth consecutive season. … Philadelphia missed its first 10 attempts from 3-point range and finished 6 for 23 for the game. … The 76ers scored 74 points in the paint. … The home opener failed to generate much buzz for a Wizards franchise that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2008. Wall addressed the crowd a few minutes before the game, saying ”Y’all are the best fans in the NBA” – to an arena that was less than half full. The announced attendance was 17,160. … The Wizards remain without No. 3 overall pick Otto Porter, who has a right hip flexor injury.