Sixers run out of steam in Washington

Sixers coach Doug Collins doesn't like what he sees. In the last two minutes, the 76ers allowed Wizards star John Wall to score the game's final six points.
Sixers coach Doug Collins doesn't like what he sees. In the last two minutes, the 76ers allowed Wizards star John Wall to score the game's final six points. (McClatchy-Tribune)
Posted: March 05, 2013

WASHINGTON - For the second night in a row, it looked as if the 76ers would pull themselves off the floor and land a knockout punch.

They had done just that Saturday against a good Golden State team, digging themselves out of a 16-point hole to win. On Sunday, they bridged the third and fourth quarters with a 27-14 run that turned a 10-point deficit against lowly Washington into an 87-84 lead. They were on the verge of winning two straight games.

Wishful thinking indeed.

The Sixers failed to score in the final two minutes of the game. Washington's John Wall scored the final six points, sealing the Sixers' fate with a 20-foot jumper in a 90-87 decision at the Verizon Center.

"Winning cures everything and losing makes everything worse," said Sixers center Spencer Hawes, who finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. "We were up and we had a chance to win it. It's kind of how the season has been going. I know we are going to catch a break. I just hope it's sooner rather than later."

The Sixers (23-35) lost for the eighth time in their last nine games. The defeat dropped them 61/2 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The loss was the Sixers' 10th in a row on the road, where they have not won since they beat the Lakers in Los Angeles on New Year's Day.

Their inability to win when not playing at the Wells Fargo Center can't be encouraging. Fifteen of their final 24 games will be on the road.

Playing their second game in a row without the services of Nick Young (sprained left ankle), the Sixers had five players who scored in double figures. Dorell Wright came off the bench to score a team-high 15 points.

But it was a bad night for the Sixers' offense in general. They made just 38.8 percent of their shots from the field. Jrue Holiday scored 14 points on 4-for-19 shooting, and Evan Turner (4 for 13) scored 11.

Winners of eight of their last 12 games, the Wizards (19-39) were led by Wall and Martell Webster. Both players finished with 16 points for the Wizards, who began the season 0-12.

"We fought hard," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "But that late turnover hurt."

With the Sixers up by three points, Turner was called for an offensive foul. That led to a Wall jumper that reduced the Sixers' lead to 87-86 with 1 minute, 33 seconds left. After Holiday missed a jumper, Wall sank a pair of free throws to give Washington an 88-87 lead. Wall then blocked a Turner shot on the Sixers' next possession and closed out the scoring with a 20-foot jumper with 4.9 seconds to play.

The Sixers had one last chance, but Wright missed a three-point attempt from the corner.


Contact John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com. Follow @JmitchInquirer on Twitter.

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