76ers 92, Wizards 84
A ”DNP” next to his name was all the motivation Nick Young
needed to step up his game.
Young scored 18 points in his first game against his old team,
Jrue Holiday had 21 and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Washington
Wizards 92-84 Wednesday night.
Thaddeus Young and Lavoy Allen each added 14 points to help the
Sixers win for just the fourth time in 13 games and seventh in
Emeka Okafor had 15 points and 17 rebounds, Nene scored 16 and
Martell Webster got 15 for Washington.
Young was benched by coach Doug Collins on Jan. 12 against
Houston. But he not only got back on the floor, he entered the
starting lineup because of a knee injury to Jason Richardson.
Doesn’t look like ”Swaggy P” is going to sit anytime soon.
”That DNP, it hurt,” Young said. ”Sitting on the sideline, I
don’t want to get back to that. I’m starting to buy into what the
coaches are talking about.”
Collins has been preaching an all-around game to Young since the
Sixers signed him as a free agent.
”He has really listened as we’ve tried to teach,” Collins
said. ”He’s focused. I told him when he came here: `My goal is to
make you a polished player, not Swaggy P the act, but a player. He
has talent. I knew if he focused, he could be a terrific player.
He’s earned the respect of his teammates and coaches.”
The Wizards dropped to 6-5 since John Wall returned from a knee
injury. They were 5-28 without him and entered with the
second-worst record in the NBA. Wall had nine points on 3-for-12
”You are going to have nights like this,” Wizards coach Randy
Wittman said. ”Their defense played real good. But you still have
to get shot attempts. We had some crucial turnovers. We battled, we
kept in it.”
The Sixers are three games into an eight-game homestand and need
to use the home-court advantage to make up some ground in the
playoff race. They entered three games behind Boston for the final
spot in the East. The Celtics just lost All-Star Rajon Rondo for
the season with a knee injury.
Young seemed to enjoy making some big shots. Young spent his
first 4 1/2 seasons in Washington before going to the Los Angeles
Clippers in a trade last March. He signed a free-agent deal with
Philadelphia in the offseason.
”It’s a great feeling, especially when you win,” Young
After the Wizards pulled to 50-48 in the third quarter, Young
took over. He nailed consecutive 3-pointers and Allen hit a short
jumper, extending the lead to 67-53.
Dorell Wright, seeing his first action in three games, gave the
Sixers their biggest lead, 82-67, with a long 3-pointer early in
the fourth. Spencer Hawes hit another 3, Holiday scored on a
driving layup and Philadelphia withstood a late push.
The Wizards got to 89-84 with 1:40 left on Okafor’s dunk. But
Holiday made a free throw and then the All-Star iced it with a
The Sixers are hoping to make a push as they inch closer to
getting Andrew Bynum in the lineup for the first time this season.
The 7-foot center is expected to make his season and Philadelphia
debut after the All-Star break. Bynum, the former Lakers All-Star,
has been sidelined by bone bruises in his knees.
”We’re only as good as our big men,” Collins said.
The Wizards were up 28-25 going into the second quarter, but
then got cold. They missed 10 of their first 11 shots in the
quarter and had just five points through the first nine
Philadelphia used a 9-1 run to go up for good. Allen got it
started with his second straight 17-footer and capped it with a
short jumper for a 40-33 lead.
Allen’s playing time had been reduced recently and he scored a
total of nine points over the last four games. Allen made his first
six shots and finished 7 for 10 from the floor.
Turner beat the buzzer with a pull-up shot to send the Sixers
into halftime up 48-39.
NOTES: Wizards rookie guard Bradley Beal didn’t play because of
a sprained right wrist. … Sixers guard Jason Richardson is headed
to Colorado for a second opinion on his injured left knee. He’s
missed five straight games. … Reserve Damien Wilkins wasn’t with
Philadelphia because of personal reasons. … Collins coached the
Wizards from 2001-03. … Wizards have lost five straight in