November 24 Philadelphia Daily News:
“No question Doug Collins wanted to travel south to the Verizon Center and erase his worst memory as the 76ers coach: His team’s overtime loss to the Washington Wizards at the beginning of this month.
He succeeded in erasing it – supplanting it with an even worse memory. The Sixers blew a 17-point lead, inexplicably committed a foul 35-plus feet from the basket in the waning seconds that forced overtime, and let a player whom Collins pointed out in practice a day earlier as a Sixers killer make a wide-open three-pointer with 7.6 seconds left to lift the Wizards to another crazy win, 116-114.
If Collins had his druthers, that 4-ton wrecking ball that was banging away at the Spectrum yesterday will now do the same thing to the place the Wizards call home.
The first disheartening loss came after rookie Cartier Martin hit a wildly desperate three-pointer to send the game into overtime. The Wizards eventually won, 116-115. Last night, with the Sixers leading by three, Jrue Holiday fouled John Wall far from the basket. Smartly, Wall threw the ball toward the hoop on contact, and was awarded three foul shots, which he drained with 3.5 seconds left to force overtime yet again. This time Nick Young hit the killer basket from the right corner in that extra period and dropped the Sixers to 3-11.
But it never should have come to that. The Sixers led, 106-103, with 8.5 seconds left and rookie Evan Turner on the foul line. Plus, the Wizards were out of time outs. Turner, however, missed both and then came the Holiday foul.
The nation’s capital has become a major pain to the Sixers.
“This one is worse,” said a distraught Collins after the game. “All we had to do was just finish out the game. We made some critical mistakes again. That’s been the story of our whole 14 games of the season. We’ve got to find a way to win a close game.”
It’s not going to happen with fouls like the one Holiday committed.”
TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE: Sixers blog
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