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News » Williams' long shot doesn't pay off for Sixers vs. Wizards

Williams' long shot doesn't pay off for Sixers vs. Wizards

Williams' long shot doesn't pay off for Sixers vs. Wizards WASHINGTON - The final shot, which could have been the winning shot, was exactly what 76ers guard Lou Williams wanted. He got the ball from the sideline out of bounds with 11.5 seconds left, and had Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas all lined up.

Williams got himself to the right side of the top of the key, just inside the three-point line, created some space, and let fly.

It was practically the same spot from which he had drained a trey a little more than a minute earlier.

This one hit rim - then the floor. Final score: Wizards 108, Sixers 107.

"That's what I wanted, last shot, make or miss," said Williams, who scored a team-high 26 points. "You 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 [in the quarter], I thought it was a great look. It was a makeable shot. I'd take it all over again."

On a day when the Wizards organization was mourning the death of owner Abe Pollin, Basketball seemed to be an afterthought at the Verizon Center. And for the first half, both teams played like it. Then came an explosive third quarter by the Wizards, and a frantic finish by the visitors, who fell short and dropped to 5-9.

"I'm not into moral victories and it's not a moral victory for me," said Sixers coach Eddie Jordan, who was returning to the place where he was fired as coach exactly 1 year earlier. "I like the way our guys played down the stretch. We showed resiliency, we showed poise, we showed harmony and effort. That's what we like to say. It's amazing how when five guys do it, no matter what name's on the back, or what number's on the back, you can be successful, you can be effective."

Neither team took more than a four-point lead in the first half, but it wasn't because it was exciting, up-and-down Basketball. It was more like neither cared to give much of an effort on the defensive end. They traded layups, wide-open jumpers, occasional fastbreaks - all with minimal success - and the Sixers led at the break, 46-45.

But the Wizards found some sort of magic at the half. In the third quarter as they made 16 of 25 shots (64 percent) while scoring 40 points to open the lead to as much as 15. They scored 16 points in the paint, mostly on follows and drives in which the Sixers parted like the Red Sea.

To make matters worse, after a collision under the Wizards' basket with Jamison, Sixers forward Elton Brand waved to coach Eddie Jordan to come out of the game with 4 minutes, 14 seconds left in the quarter. Brand has right-hamstring soreness and tightness and is listed as day-to-day.

All in all, it was as ugly a quarter as the Sixers could have played, especially against a team that had lost eight of nine and was without starters Caron Butler (sore right ankle) and Mike Miller (strained right calf, out 3 to 6 weeks).

"We were just giving up open shots, giving up second-chance points," said Andre Iguodala, who finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists. "Their team was getting into a rhythm, we didn't apply enough pressure and they scored the ball pretty easy."

Said Jordan: "Antawn [Jamison] got loose and we just didn't handle the pick-and-rolls well. Our rotations weren't right, they got some putbacks, it was just horrible defense."

Jamison finished with 32 points and 14 rebounds for the Wizards, his fourth double-double of the season in as many games after returning from a shoulder injury. Guard Nick Young, starting due to the injuries to Miller and Butler, added 20.

Still, the Sixers made a game of it in the fourth, finishing out the quarter with a 25-12 spurt that allowed Williams to have the chance at the end.

They made the comeback with their subs, as Jrue Holiday, Jason Smith and Rodney Carney saw significant minutes. Rookie Holiday scored all of his career-high 11 points in the fourth, including three treys.

"I'm trying to contribute to the team the best way I can," Holiday said. "Give a spark, kind of like what happened."

The sparkling play of the subs kept Iguodala on the bench for all but 2:48 of the final quarter, a stat that didn't go unnoticed.

"I think I'm one of the best all-around players out there, on both ends of the floor. I don't know what it was, I guess I wasn't making shots," Iguodala said. "I can defend better than anybody out there. Whatever the reason might be, I can't really harp on that. I just move on to the next day and not let this drag."

Nor can the Sixers let their losing ways drag on, as they've now lost five of six, even if divine intervention may have played into last night's loss, according to Jordan.

"I want that shot," Jordan said of Williams' game-winning attempt. "Mr. Pollin's spirit blocked that shot out of the rim."

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


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