76ers share the load in a win over the Wizards

Posted: January 31, 2013

Jrue Holiday probably likes the 76ers locker room to be more like it was after a 92-84 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

Holiday has established himself as an all-star in his fourth season, but when the team wins and reporters are clamoring for the opportunity to talk to ancillary players such as Nick Young, Lavoy Allen, and Spencer Hawes, that means that Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, and Holiday are getting more help.

"It definitely makes it easier," said Holiday, who scored a game-high 21 points in more than 41 minutes. "They kind of saved the day. They made stops defensively, and they came up big for us defensively."

With the Sixers facing a bad Washington team that has won just three times on the road this season, Nick Young continued his hot play, scoring 18 points in his first game against the team that drafted him. Young made his third start at shooting guard, and he is averaging just under 18 points in the last four games.

Hawes, who was also inserted as a starter three games ago, finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Sixers (19-26). Hawes played well at center against the bigger and more physical players such as Washington's Nene, who finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, and Emeka Okafor, who pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds and scored 15 points.

Allen, who lost his spot as a starter to Hawes, also made plays. Despite being saddled with foul trouble late in the game, Allen matched his season high with 14 points.

Dorell Wright, benched the last two games, was needed as well, and he produced. The Sixers were without Jason Richardson (knee) for a fourth straight game, and Damien Wilkins, who has been part of the rotation lately, was not with the team for personal reasons.

In his absence, Wright stepped in and provided the Sixers with seven points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

"We had some guys step up and respond," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "It hasn't been easy for guys because I'm still trying to get to know this team. We've had injuries, and we've had to make some adjustments."

The Wizards (11-33) were without their second-leading scorer, rookie guard Bradley Beal, who has a sprained right wrist.

The Sixers never trailed again after Allen's 17-foot jump shot that made it 31-30 with 9 minutes, 11 seconds to play in the second quarter.

They took their largest lead of the game, 87-71, when Holiday scored on a driving layup with 6:29 left in the fourth.

The Wizards made it close late in the game, getting to within 89-84 on Okafor's dunk. But the Sixers, who have struggled to close out teams lately, locked down defensively, holding the Wizards scoreless the rest of the way.

"We are starting to get some things to work for us now," Nick Young said. "We just have to keep working and working. We had an opportunity to blow this team out, but we didn't. It's good, but we can get better."


Contact John N. Mitchell at  jmitchell@philly.com, or follow on Twitter @JmitchInquirer.

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