Final Score: Wizards 107 76ers 99
It was a game of runs here at the Verizon Center, and the Wizards found a way to stave off a late Philadelphia comeback to bring home a 107-99 victory. The Wizards led by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter and the Sixers spent the fourth chipping into it but could only get as close as eight. Washington got production from a lot of different places in this one. Bradley Beal had an excellent all around game, scoring 22 points, grabbing 9 rebounds, and dishing out a career high tying 8 assists. He also shot 3/4 from three point land. Marcin Gortat was a force down low, registering his 14th double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds. John Wall scored 14 points with 5 assists and 5 rebounds. The Wizards bench also played a big role with Kevin Seraphin leading the way. Seraphin scored 16 points and registered 7 boards, while Jan Vesely provided the team with electricity, scoring 6 points which included a monster alley-oop that had the Verizon Center rocking. 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams led all scorers with 31 points 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, and their big man Spencer Hawes marked a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds.
The Wizards advance to .500 for the 4th time this year, including 10-10 at the Verizon Center, a place that the team has certainly struggled at during stretches this year. The Celtics come into town on Wednesday, and with Rajon Rondo back in the lineup it would certainly be a nice win to advance over the .500 mark before the team goes out west next week. - Brad Bobrow
Good afternoon Wizards fans! We're with you for a midday matinee at Verizon Center as the Wizards get set to take on the Philadelphia 76ers.
The news coming out of Wizards camp this morning was that rookie guard Glen Rice has been cleared for all basketball activities and has been assigned to the Iowa Energy of the NBA D-League.
Randy Wittman spoke about the decision and why they felt it was best for Rice at this time:
It sounds as if this is like a minor-league rehab stint for Rice, who will benefit from additional playing time in Iowa. With so many games this month for the Wizards, there was not a lot of time for practice, which is why it made sense to let Rice continue to develop in the D-League.
As for today's game, this is a special day in the NBA as they celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with games beginning at 1pm. The NBA will use the #DreamBIG hashtag, so check out some of the ways teams are recognizing this important holiday by searching for the #DreamBIG hashtag on Twitter.
The Wizards have events planned throughout the day to honor Dr. King's legacy and will have a special halftime performance at today's game.
The players will also wear purple sneakers to honor MLK Day:
As for the game itself, we could be in for a high-scoring affair as the Sixers allow more points than any other team in the league per game (110). The Wizards tied a season-high with 116 points back on November 6th in Philadelphia and made a franchise record 18 3-pointers in the game. It was the Wizards first win of the season.
Today, they'll be looking to get back to .500 after a disappointing home loss on Saturday night to the Pistons. They have one more game at home on Wednesday before heading out west for a week and there's no question they would like to finish this homestand with two wins and move above .500 for the first time in five years.
Trevor Booker suffered a sprained left ankle in Saturday night's game and will miss today's game as he is still sore. He's considered day-to-day. With Book out, look for Jan Vesely or Kevin Seraphin to fill his void off the bench. Vesely logged 15 minutes and scored seven points in his absence on Saturday.
The Sixers have hit a cold spell, as they have lost six of seven and been held under 90 points in their last two games. Their star rookie point guard, Michael Carter-Williams, has been held to just 21% shooting over those last two games. If the Wizards can turn him into a shooter today and keep him out of the lane, they should limit the Sixers offensive attack. As Randy Wittman noted in his pregame media availability, the Sixers are a top five team in points in the paint, yet they don't have a bruiser who they throw the ball in to on the post. They rely on dribble penetration and slashing into the lane for a lot of their offense.
The Sixers beat the Wizards here at Verizon Center for the Wizards home opener so look for the Wiz to get revenge today and even their record at 20-20.