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News » Uninspired 76ers bow to Wizards

Uninspired 76ers bow to Wizards

Uninspired 76ers bow to Wizards WASHINGTON - Lou Williams' step-back jumper could have won the 76ers a game they looked nowhere near winning.

But as the buzzer sounded last night, Williams' 20-footer swirled off the rim. Immediately, the Sixers walked off the Verizon Center floor having lost to the Washington Wizards, 108-107.

"That's how we wanted it," Williams, who finished with 26 points, said of that final possession. "Last shot, make or miss, take your chances. I missed the shot. I'd take it all over again, 10 times in a row. Considering I made three or four in a row, I thought it was a great look. Thought I had it going . . . rimmed out. Like I said, I'd take that shot over and over again."

The Sixers slipped to 5-9; Washington improved to 4-9. Tonight, the Sixers play at the Boston Celtics.

It's speculation whether Washington played inspired, but it was obvious that in the third quarter, the Sixers' defense did not, allowing 40 points.

On the day that the Wizards' longtime owner, Abe Pollin, 85, died of a rare brain disorder, his team played better than it had been playing.

After the game, Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said of Williams' last-second miss: "Mr. Pollin's spirit blocked that shot out of the rim."

In the third quarter, nothing blocked the Wizards from the rim: They shot 16 for 25 and built a 15-point lead.

What happened to the Sixers' defense?

"The same thing we've been doing all year," said swingman Andre Iguodala, who shot 2 for 10 and sat for most of the fourth quarter. "Giving up open shots, second-chance points. Teams get in a good rhythm, and we don't apply enough pressure and they score the ball pretty easily."

Last night, very little pointed toward a Sixers victory, least of all the team's on-court play.

That is, until the second unit slashed that hefty Wizards' lead to one point.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Sixers trailed by 14 points and Jordan - returning to the arena in which he coached five-plus seasons - went with a combo unit that had rookie Jrue Holiday, Williams, Thaddeus Young, Jason Smith, and Samuel Dalembert.

For the night, Young scored 23 points, Smith 14, and Dalembert 15.

The Sixers went from trailing, 96-82, to trailing, 108-107.

In that stretch, Holiday scored 11 points. When he checked into the game, Holiday said he "kind of" felt like the pressure was off, considering a Washington victory seemed likely.

Jordan went away from his go-to guys, Iguodala and power forward Elton Brand. The pair - making $160 million between them - combined to go 3 for 19 from the floor.

Brand left the game with a sore right hamstring with 4 minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the third quarter. He was evaluated after the game and is officially listed as day-to-day with "right hamstring tightness and soreness."

Iguodala, not injured, sat for the sake of sitting.

Iguodala on the bench in crunch time - although he did check in for Williams' final shot - is a rare sight.

"I think I'm one of the best all-around players out there, on both ends of the floor," Iguodala said afterward. "I don't know what it was. I guess it wasn't making shots. But I feel like I defend better than anybody out there and give it 100 percent on both ends."

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 25, 2009


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