76ers-Wizards Preview

The Associated Press

The Washington Wizards once again fell short of getting over .500 for the first time in more than four years.

A matchup against the last-place Philadelphia 76ers could help them at least get back to the break-even mark.

Looking to even their record, the Wizards try to add to the 76ers' woes Monday afternoon in the nation's capital.

Washington (19-20) had limited opponents to an average of 92.7 points in winning a season best-tying three straight before falling 104-98 to Detroit on Saturday. John Wall scored a game-high 34 points but Bradley Beal finished with a season-low seven while shooting 2 of 14.

Saturday marked the third time this season Washington lost at home with a chance to get over .500. The Wizards haven't had a winning record since opening 2-1 in 2009-10.

"Somebody just needs to not tell us our record and we'll just go out and play," Beal said. "Every time they tell us '.500,' we just pressure ourselves too much and end up not showing up."

The Wizards were outscored 52-38 in the paint and outrebounded 44-35. Washington also went 16 of 29 (55.2 percent) from the foul line, its third-worst display of the season.

"It's crazy, we're trying to get over that hump," swingman Martell Webster said. "That's the thing about this league, it gives you 82 chances."

The Wizards dropped to 6-14 when allowing over 100 points.

"We have to do a better job of playing defense," Wall said. "We just have to deal with it and move forward. Take a day off (Sunday) and then get ready for Philly."

While Washington suffered a 109-102 defeat to the 76ers (13-27) in its home opener Nov. 1, coach Randy Wittman's club won 116-102 at Philadelphia five days later. Wall led the way with 24 points and nine assists that night, and Marcin Gortat scored 19 to go along with 12 boards.

After this game, the Wizards conclude a season high-tying five-game homestand against Boston on Wednesday. Washington has dropped eight of 11 on its own court.

"It's very big to try to get back to .500 at least, and then get over .500 before we go on a tough West Coast trip," Wall said. "Try to find a way to win these games at home."

Sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic Division, the 76ers have dropped six of seven, losing by an average of 18.2 points. They were held to their lowest scoring total of the season in Saturday's 103-78 loss at Chicago.

Thaddeus Young stayed cold with 12 points on 6-of-17 from the field, and Michael Carter-Williams scored 10 while shooting 5 of 22. Philadelphia was outscored 25-12 in transition and went 2 of 19 from 3-point range.

"That's how it goes," center Spencer Hawes said. "You go through stretches like that, and who knows, the next two or three games maybe we come out and can't miss. It's a long season."

Young, averaging a career-high 17.3 points, has been held to 11.0 per game while shooting 31.7 percent over the last three. He is averaging 18.0 while shooting 61.1 percent in his last six in Washington.

Wall is averaging 24.7 points during a three-game stretch versus Philadelphia. The Wizards are 18-10 this season when he scores at least 15 compared to 1-10 when he doesn't.

The 76ers have dropped 11 straight road games against fellow Eastern Conference opponents by an average of 14.5 points since beating Washington in their road opener.