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Wizards 104, 76ers 97


The fourth quarter has been about the flameout for the Washington Wizards in their past four losses to Minnesota, Memphis, Oklahoma City and San Antonio. In those games, the Wizards led by one, were tied, or trailed by one in the fourth quarter, only to lose by double digits as they were outscored by a total of 129-90 in the final period.

So, when the Wizards trailed by just two headed in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers, it was easy to assume that they would repeat the trend. It looked like they were headed for a fifth consecutive loss when back-to-back dunks by Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert dunked to gave the 76ers a 90-86 lead with 5 minutes, 52 seconds left in the game.

But Nick Young scored eight straight points in less than two minutes -- a three-pointer, a three-point play and a pullup jumper -- to give the Wizards the lead for good. They closed the game on an impressive 18-4 run as the Wizards defeated Philadelphia and former coach Eddie Jordan for the third time this season.

Young came off the bench to score 21 points and when asked if his performance was the result of making his first shot of the game, Young shook his head no. "It had a lot to do with my hairdo," said Young, whose new style was described by someone as what would happen if you rub your head on a crocodile. "I twisted it up for the new year. It's our good luck charm right now."

The Wizards played their first game of the season without center Brendan Haywood, who came down with a stomach ailment on Monday. Wizards Coach Flip Saunders inserted Fabricio Oberto at center, giving him his 13th different starting lineup this season. But with Haywood sidelined, the Wizards' focus on defense in practice the past week played out to gruesome results in the first half, as the Wizards trailed 58-44 and allowed the 76ers to shoot 61.5 percent.

"I didn't even yell at them," Saunders said. "I told them I was disappointed that we weren't matching the intensity and the intelligence that we've played with in our previous four practices. I told them, with our team, there is no magic formula. When we play with energy, we can play with anyone. When we don't play with energy, we're bad."

Young scored nine points in the first half, and played well enough that Saunders started him in the second half, instead of Andray Blatche. The Wizards trailed 72-56 with 5 minutes 23 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Wizards went on a 24-8 run to tie the game at 80 on an Oberto layup.

Jamison and Gilbert Arenas were the catalysts for the turnaround, as they combined to 28 points in the third period, when the Wizards outscored the 76ers 34-22. "The hook shot, the I don't know what you call it was working all day," Young said. "He came out, halftime, with a motivating speech, and he came out and delivered."

"We got to continue to do the things we did tonight. We've been doing a great job making a came out of it for 40, 42 minutes, but it's all about 48 minutes," said Jamison, adding that the Wizards were able to come back from an 18-point deficit by "doing the total opposite of what we was doing to get in that hole. More attacking the rim. Doing a great job as far as being patient. We didn't panic at all. We did a great job of being poised."

The Wizards were able to overcome the absence of Haywood and help Arenas play despite constant taunts and heckling from the Philadelphia fans. I addressed what Arenas had to say about the scene in my game story, but I left out a comment that he had for the Rev. Al Sharpton, who blasted Arenas in the New York Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/2010/01/05/2010-01-05_sharpton_urges_nba_to_get_stern_on_arenas.html and called for swift and harsh punishment because the "culture of violence that has perpetuated professional sports."

In response, Arenas said, "It's kind of funny how people like him are supposed to be for the people, make a comment like that when he hasn't really heard anything. He's just reading the paper. For a leader, especially a black leader to make a comment like that, I don't think it's fair."

Arenas was asked what he wanted for his 28th birthday on Wednesday, when the Wizards will face the Cleveland Cavaliers. "A win," he said.

By Michael Lee  |  January 6, 2010; 12:19 AM ET
 
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Next: Wizards' afternoon brew: more Arenas reaction

Comments

we're now 8-3 when NY plays 20+ mins, will Flip finally learn or can we expect some more Earl next game?

kevinjones,

what were you saying I was supposed to see with Haywood out?

Posted by: divi3 | January 6, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

we're now 8-3 when NY plays 20+ mins, will Flip finally learn or can we expect some more Earl next game?

kevinjones,

what were you saying I was supposed to see with Haywood out?

Posted by: divi3 | January 6, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Why is Caron Butler still starting? Why not give Randy Foye and Nick Young more playing time. A little FYI, in the 7 games that Nick Young has played more than 25 minutes he is averaging 17.8 ppg.

Posted by: rickysanders83 | January 6, 2010 3:54 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young had too good a game. Flip Saunders better teach him a lesson and bench him now for a couple of weeks.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 6, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Okay,

I had stopped caring with all the drama and seeing the Sixers with near to a 20 point lead. During the western road trip I yelled and screamed at every heartbreaking moment, but being a Wizards fan, about to loose to our most successful coach in my generation in a blowout, I hit rock bottom and wrote off the big money I spent this year to watch the games while living overseas. I fast forwarded through the game and noticed the lead getting smaller. By the end of the game I had started believing again, I mean Young made AI look like a father recognizing he had been surpassed by the kid he dropped on his head as a baby.

With the win there is a bit of positivity creeping in and I have remembered just why Gil wears Zero. He has so much to prove again, and in that mode he became the biggest star ever to wear a Wizards jersey in my time (King and Jordan having had there stars shrink a bit by the time they put on a Washington Uniform). With Al Sharpton writing him off, I expect to see Zero honing in on MVP by end of the year.

Posted by: yankeevicar | January 6, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Nick Young had too good a game. Flip Saunders better teach him a lesson and bench him now for a couple of weeks.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 6, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: prescrunk | January 6, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young had too good a game. Flip Saunders better teach him a lesson and bench him now for a couple of weeks.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 6, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young had too good a game. Flip Saunders better teach him a lesson and bench him now for a couple of weeks.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 6, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

super funny if i only had to read it once. the reposting is slightly annoying. we've all accidentally hit the submit button more than once, but the reposting of this comment 3 times within an hour and a half?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 6, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Now you Haywood haters will see why we won 19 games last year.

So for the record we have won 3 against the sixers this year with Haywood in. So now he's out. Let's see the results. I'm sure you will see Mcgee tonight.

Posted by: kevenjones | January 5, 2010 6:56 PM


AND will you come on and admit you were wrong if the wizards win LOL I think it probably get sweeped under the rug lol

Posted by: rnorris6 | January 6, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

good game from NY
great finish by AJ (he was struggling early)

good stuff ealry form OLDberto, he really hustled defensively early despit his inability to jump for rebounds or finish around the basket (Gil woulda had 17-20 assts easy if FO and AJ coulda finished round the rim)

Good mins from Mcgee, but i'd rather see him jump and get a goaltend than not jump and watch the other team score a bucket. there has to be a happy medium, but with his size and shotblocking ability, he's got to intimidate folks coming into the lane.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 6, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

>>Nick Young had too good a game. Flip Saunders better teach him a lesson and bench him now for a couple of weeks.Posted by: dovelevine

>>super funny if i only had to read it once. the reposting is slightly annoying. Posted by: lilhollywood10

Sorry. Obviously didn't mean to. I was just reloading when the site was down seeing if it was back up and it must have stored all my hits. Again sorry.

Posted by: dovelevine | January 6, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

no harm no foul. like i said it was lol funny the first time.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 6, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"good stuff ealry form OLDberto, he really hustled defensively early despit his inability to jump for rebounds or finish around the basket"

didnt see the game, how'd Dalembert go for 20/20? eatin AB's lunch?

Posted by: divi3 | January 6, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"we're now 8-3 when NY plays 20+ mins"

We're now 11-20 when Haywood plays 20+ mins, and 1-0 when he plays none.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 6, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"We're now 11-20 when Haywood plays 20+ mins, and 1-0 when he plays none."

news last night said unnamed players are asking to be traded, now bth is 'sick"...i wonder if he wants out pronto

Posted by: divi3 | January 6, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The only reason they're "unnamed" is because naming them all would probably eat up too much air time on the sportscast.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 6, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

didnt see the game, how'd Dalembert go for 20/20? eatin AB's lunch?

Posted by: divi3 | January 6, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

lobs and hustle, and a lil bit of AB's lunchable, JM's brownie, and OLDberto's Ensure.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 6, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

didn't see the whole game, just some early action and a lil bit of the third Q.I thought we were done for sure AJ obviously poured it on in the second half, but what about Gil and 14 dimes?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 6, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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