76ers are beaten in overtime

The Sixers' Lou Williams drives toward the basket as Washington's John Wall reaches for the ball.
The Sixers' Lou Williams drives toward the basket as Washington's John Wall reaches for the ball.
Posted: November 24, 2010

WASHINGTON - Even if you watched, you still wouldn't believe it.

It was really quite remarkable.

It wasn't the kind of remarkable that made you stand and cheer. It was the kind that had you watching in stunned silence.

On Tuesday night inside the Verizon Center, the 76ers lost in overtime to the Washington Wizards, 116-114.

The Sixers were ahead by 17 points in the third quarter, 15 points in the fourth, and 11 points with 5 minutes, 7 seconds remaining.

It was the kind of loss you had already penciled into the win column, that's how assured this victory seemed.

The Sixers dropped to 3-11. The Wizards, led by JaVale McGee's 24 points and 18 rebounds, improved to 5-8.

"It's almost like, 'Let's find a way for something else dramatic to happen,' " said Sixers coach Doug Collins.

There were plenty of dramatic happenings.

Here's how they went.

With 8.5 seconds left in regulation, Sixers rookie guard Evan Turner, who'd made four consecutive free throws, walked to the line to put the finishing touches on his team's second straight victory.

The Sixers were ahead, 106-103, and the Wizards were out of time-outs.

Turner missed the first free throw, which seemed to pique the interest of all the fans walking toward the exits. Turner missed the second, which seemed to then have everyone turning back toward the court.

The Wizards snagged the rebound and gave the ball to rookie guard John Wall, who darted upcourt. In no more than three dribbles, Wall was within striking distance and noticed that Sixers guard Jrue Holiday seemed to be closing the space, perhaps looking to strip Wall of the ball.

"I didn't think he was shooting, and he went up to shoot and my hand was right there," Holiday tried to explain. "I didn't mean to foul him. I got my arm in there when he was going up to shoot."

Cleverly, Wall tangled his arm with Holiday's and earned three free throws with just 3.5 seconds left in regulation.

Wall made all three.

"I don't want to say it's because we're young, including myself," Holiday said of the loss. "I made stupid mistakes out there that shouldn't be made. We're just thinking to ourselves, 'How is this happening?' "

With 3:32 left in regulation, Sixers power forward Elton Brand was ejected for flagrantly fouling McGee. Afterward, Collins said Brand's ejection was not a turning point and really had no barring on the game's outcome.

"At the end of the day," Collins said, "We still had a three-point lead, shooting two free throws with 8.5 seconds to go."

With 7.6 seconds left in overtime, Wizards reserve guard Nick Young, who finished with 19 points, nailed a three-pointer along the right baseline to give his team the win.

Collins immediately called a time-out.

On the Sixers' final possession, swingman Andre Iguodala was isolated on the left wing, drove left, pump-faked, and missed a lean-in jumper.

"You better keep all sharp objects away from Doug," Wizards coach Flip Saunders quipped only moments after his team's victory.

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

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