Jan 062011
Sixers vs Wizards

Sixers vs Wizards

January 6 Philadelphia Inquirer:

“The 76ers were admittedly playing on fumes, returning from a grueling road trip, but it was some of the young legs that pulled them through one of the true gut-checks of this marathon NBA season.

Lou Williams scored 26 points, including 12 in the decisive fourth quarter, and Jrue Holiday added 26 points and nine assists as the Sixers defeated the Washington Wizards, 109-97, on Wednesday before 12,434 at the Wells Fargo Center.

It was the Sixers‘ first home game after an 17-day, eight-game road trip that ended with Monday’s 84-77 loss in New Orleans.

The 24-year-old Williams said he felt much older, while the 20-year-old Holiday, felt, well, like a 20-year-old.

“The first half was a little tough for us,” Williams said. “Guys were trying to get their second wind, and we were able to pull it out and play better in the second half.”

While some players were dragging, Holiday didn’t fit in that category.

“I started out kind of fast, kind of fast pace, trying to push everybody,” Holiday said. “The [17] days on the road, then coming back here was tough, especially getting here [Tuesday morning] and not getting as much rest as we wanted.”

For Holiday it didn’t matter as much as for others.

“I am young,” he said. “I was trying to run and push it.”

Trailing by 81-80, the Sixers took the lead for good on a three-pointer by Williams with 7 minutes, 41 seconds left in the game.

The lead was still just 90-87 after NBA slam-dunk contest participant JaVale McGee performed his specialty – scoring on a dunk with 5:03 left.

From there, the Sixers outscored the Wizards by 19-10 to put the game away.

“I cannot tell you as a coach, when you coach a group like this and you see how tired they are and you see them do what they did the last eight minutes, it is every coach’s dream,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said.

Losing this one to the Wizards would have been any coach’s nightmare. That’s because Washington is 8-25 overall and 0-17 on the road, the only NBA team not to win a game away from home.

“That Washington team has talent,” Collins said. “Let them get the first road win against somebody else, not us.”

Collins wasn’t just throwing a bouquet the Wizards’ way. This is the same Washington team that has beaten the Sixers twice at home, both in overtime, by a total of three points. Getting that same effort away from the Verizon Center has been difficult for coach Flip Saunders.”

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