In the NBA, to be considered one of the best you have to beat the best. While that saying definitely holds true, the great teams also need to know how to impose their will against teams stuck in the NBA cellar. It took some time, but the Philadelphia 76ers took care of business Friday night by beating the Washington Wizards 120-89.
Everyone probably put a tally in the win column for the 76ers before the game began, but Doug Collins didn’t waste any time in proving to his young team that if they played lethargic and without discipline, they’d even the playing ground with the Wizards.
Just 1:44 into the game, Collins subbed out starting point guard Jrue Holiday after he began the game with two turnovers in the 76ers’ first four possessions. Though you want one of your core players out on the court, Collins quickly called Holiday over to the seat next to him and could be seen talking to Holiday and possibly giving him a teaching lesson on protecting the ball. Whatever it was that Collins said, Holiday listened and did not commit a single turnover the rest of the game.
Wins also are a little easier to come by when your team scores 38 points in a single quarter.
While the Wizards are not exactly a defensive powerhouse, the 38 points scored by the 76ers in the third quarter and 120 points overall were both season highs. At one point, the Wiz found themselves down by as many as 34.
Who was the spark tonight? Lou Williams led the 76ers early with 19 points off the bench, but like always, everyone played their part and found ways to contribute. Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand each had 13 points and Spencer Hawes returned from his one game absence to post his fifth double-double of the season in just 19 minutes. The hottest of hands belonged to sharpshooting Jodie Meeks, who made 6 of 7 from downtown and tied a career-high with 26 points. The 76ers as a team made 12 of 18 from beyond.
It was a Meeks’ 3-pointer that put the 76ers over the century mark of 100 points with just under seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter, and the crowd came to their feet as the team turned their game tickets into free Big Mac coupons to be used at McDonalds.
Everyone in Philly seems to be having fun with these 76ers and the fun should continue tomorrow night in the DC leg of the home-and-home. The Seventy-Six, now 8-3, increased their Atlantic Division lead to two games over the idle New York Knicks and the Wizards find themselves looking for answers at 1-10.
About the Author
Written by Mike Rapine
Graduated last year from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Mathematics with a focus in Statistics. I was a member of their baseball team and overall have a sense of sports from not just the average fan's perspective. Born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, where we fall in love with our sports teams each year, despite the preconceptions of a playoff demise ultimately happening. Obviously, any opinions are personal in nature and should be taken as my own.