Wizards-76ers Preview

The Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers are on the verge of matching the franchise's longest home losing streak, set in Allen Iverson's rookie season.

While the surging Washington Wizards don't appear likely to slip up against Philadelphia, they could have some tired legs following a historic triple-overtime victory.

The 76ers hope to avoid their 12th straight home loss Saturday night when they retire Iverson's No. 3 against a Wizards team looking for its sixth consecutive win.

Philadelphia (15-43) shot just 36.8 percent from the field and 5 for 22 from 3-point range in a 101-90 loss to visiting Orlando on Wednesday.

The Magic snapped their 16-game road losing streak while sending the Atlantic Division-worst 76ers to their 11th consecutive home loss and 12th straight defeat overall.

The club has stockpiled draft picks and cleared room under their salary cap in preparation for the future, but for now it'll try to avoid matching the franchise-record home slide - set from Dec. 9, 1996-Jan. 24, 1997 - as well as its first 13-game skid overall since Dec. 28-Jan. 20 of that same season.

''There's a competitive side that it stinks and we want to win, that's the bottom line,'' coach Brett Brown said. ''But it doesn't cripple anything that we're doing in regard to how we wake up and do the next day. It hasn't been debilitating. We move on.''

Defense has seemed to be an afterthought for Brown's squad, which has allowed 116.0 points per game - 5.1 more than its NBA-worst average - on 49.3 percent shooting over its last 12 games.

The 76ers had won five straight and nine of 10 home meetings with the Wizards before John Wall led seven players in double figures with 24 points in a 116-102 win in Philadelphia on Nov. 6.

Wall and Marcin Gortat also scored 31 apiece Thursday to help Washington (30-28) win its fifth straight in a 134-129 triple-overtime victory at Toronto. They were two of four starters who played more than 49 minutes in the longest game in Raptors franchise history.

'''You give it all so at the end of the game you're just totally drained," said forward Trevor Ariza, who had 16 points and the go-ahead layup with 1:20 remaining.

The Wizards improved to 2-0 since losing Nene for approximately six weeks to a knee injury. Now they're hoping one day of rest is enough to recover from the marathon as they look to take this season series for the first time since 2009-10.

''Obviously we're missing Nene,'' said Gortat, who has totaled 52 points and 22 rebounds in the two games. ''He was our big spark in the starting lineup, but we've got to play without him for the next few weeks. Each one of us has got to step up.''

With Wall struggling in the last meeting, backcourt mate Bradley Beal came up big with 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in a 107-99 home win Jan. 20.

Philadelphia rookie Michael Carter-Williams had 31 points on 13-of-22 shooting, while Wall missed eight of 14 shots on the way to 14 points.

Thaddeus Young scored 18 for the 76ers in that contest after finishing with seven on 3-of-11 shooting in the November home loss. He led the way 29 points in a 109-102 road win Nov. 1.

Young has averaged 25.7 points in his last three games overall.

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