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Wall shoots Wizards past 76ers

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- John Wall has a shot now, and the Washington Wizards as a result have a victory.

Washington's point guard has long been known as a deft penetrator. On Wednesday night he put his improved jumper on display, making a career-high five 3-pointers and scoring 24 points as the Wizards beat the Philadelphia 76ers 116-102 to earn their first victory of the season.

The Wizards (1-3) made a franchise-record 18 3-pointers in 33 attempts. The 18 triples also tied a Wells Fargo Center mark.

"We were able to knock some shots down," coach Randy Wittman said. "We had shots, we created shots and we knocked them down. That's what you've got to do to win games."

Wittman pronounced himself "disappointed" in his team's play before Wednesday.

"This has got to be a springboard for us now," he said.

Center Marcin Gortat added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards. Guard Bradley Beal also scored 17 points for Washington, and guard/forward Trevor Ariza had 15. Beal and Ariza nailed three 3-pointers apiece, one fewer than reserve Martell Webster, who scored 14 points.

Guard/forward Evan Turner scored 24 points to top the Sixers (3-2), who dropped their second straight. Center Spencer Hawes collected 23 points and 13 rebounds, and guard Michael Carter-Williams scored 19 points.

Wall, who shot 3-for-11 from the arc in the Wizards' first three games, went 5-for-8 Wednesday. He said his shot was "just something I worked on this summer."

"Some games they're going to fall, some games they're not," he added. "They were doubling the post off me. I just had to be confident and knock them down, and tonight they went in."

Golden State had made 15 3-pointers in 38 tries in a 110-90 victory over the Sixers on Monday, seven of those by ex-Sixer Andre Iguodala.

"We pick the poison where we want to try to guard the paint," Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. "You got a 29 percent 3-point shooter that comes in and has a hell of a game. Last game Andre Iguodala came in and went bananas here. We've chosen a way to play. We've chosen a way to protect the paint with a young team. That's where we hedged our bets and it hurt us."

The Wizards led wire to wire and steadily pulled away after the Sixers sliced Washington's nine-point halftime advantage to four, at 71-67, on a basket by Hawes midway through the third quarter.

By the end of the period, Washington was up 89-76 as Wall scored 12 points in the quarter, including three 3-pointers.

Gortat notched eight points as Washington moved to a 31-16 lead early in the game, but the Sixers outscored the Wizards 24-12 over the next 11 minutes to creep within three, at 43-40, with 6:54 left in the first half. Guard/forward James Anderson scored 10 points in that stretch.

By halftime, Washington had stretched its advantage to 60-51. Beal had 13 points in the first half, Ariza added 12 and Gortat had 10.

Hawes paced the Sixers with 12 points in half.

NOTES: The 76ers began the night averaging 19 turnovers a game, sixth most in the league, but coach Brett Brown is not terribly concerned. "I want to empower our guys," he said. "There will be stages in the not-too-distant future that you have to play -- 'conservative' is probably not the word -- but with a far more responsible way to see possession per possession how important it is, as you start to get into real type of basketball. I think at this stage for me, I'm happy to let young guys run and live with some mistakes." ... Philadelphia turned it over 21 times Wednesday, Washington 11. ... F/C Nene returned to the Wizards' lineup after missing the two previous games with a strained left calf. He finished with 10 points. ... Washington G Bradley Beal scored 19 points in the previous game, a loss to the Miami Heat, which heartened coach Randy Wittman. "Bradley just needs to keep his swagger, make or miss, and do other things. Sometimes when his shot's not going, he takes a back seat. That's what we're trying to get him to understand: Don't take a back seat." ... A moment of silence was observed before the game in honor of Sixers equipment manager Jeff Millman, who died Tuesday. Millman was part of the organization for 50 years.
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