The Philadelphia 76ers' unselfish play has them as the surprising leaders of the Atlantic Division. The Washington Wizards aren't showing much of an attempt at being balanced, and their record is suffering for it.
After routing the Wizards on Friday, the 76ers will get another chance Saturday night when the teams meet in the finale of a home-and-home series at the Verizon Center.
Philadelphia (8-3) trounced Washington 120-89 on Friday night, shooting 55.3 percent while going 12 of 18 from 3-point range. It led by as many as 34 points in the third quarter.
As has been the case all season, the Sixers received a balanced scoring effort from a roster that features six players averaging in double figures. On Friday, seven players scored at least 10 points, led by Jodie Meeks, who tied a career high with 26.
"We're having a lot of fun,'' Meeks said. "No one is selfish on this team."
Meeks, who played only 16 minutes in a loss to New York two nights earlier, went 10 of 11 from the field. He came in shooting 38.8 percent but went 6 of 7 beyond the arc, scoring more than seven points for the fourth time this season.
"It's just one night,'' he said. "Every night's not going to be like that, I know that. I just try to run the hot streak as long as I can.''
While Meeks played 36 minutes, the rest of the starters each played fewer than 29 and should be well-rested for the rematch. That includes Spencer Hawes, who had 10 points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes after missing the previous game with a strained lower back.
While Philadelphia - which has won seven of eight, five by at least 23 points - has been pleased with how many players are getting involved in the offense, Washington's John Wall is frustrated by what he describes as selfish play.
The Wizards (1-10), who have dropped two straight since beating Toronto on Tuesday, allowed the Sixers to score 36 points off 19 turnovers while also giving up 32 fast-break points. Washington, which is last in the NBA in scoring with 84.1 points per game, scored just 58 through three quarters Friday.
The Wizards have averaged 15.0 assists the last two games and for the third time in five games had more turnovers than assists.
"If everybody's going to be selfish, it doesn't matter what the lineup is,'' Wall said. "When you're a losing team, guys don't want to hang around with each other. Win a few games and we'll be OK.''
Wall was held to seven points on 3-of-8 shooting to go along with five turnovers. The second-year point guard is averaging 9.0 points and shooting 30.2 percent the last four games.
Washington has lost three straight to Philadelphia - all by double digits on the road - but has won four in a row in the series at home by a combined 11 points.
- Sports & Recreation
- Sports & Recreation/Basketball
- Washington Wizards
- Jodie Meeks