Wittman: 'We take the easy way out right now'
John Wall came out strong in the Wizards' home opener, making seven consecutive shots before 17,160 at Verizon Center.
But it was the Sixers, and rookie Michael Carter-Williams, who had the last laugh.
The Wizards led until a 6:28 of the fourth quarter, when Carter-Williams buried a three-pointer for a 92-89 lead, as they went on a 23-7 run. He scored all but two of his 12 points in the second half.
Wall laughed off Carter-Williams' performance in his first game as a pro when the Sixers upset the Miami Heat 114-110. In that game, he contributed 22 points on 6-for-10 shooting, 12 assists, nine steals and seven rebounds. But until Martell Webster came on in the second half to score 11 of his 13 points, Wall didn't have much help.
Bradley Beal had another miserable shooting performance for Washington. He went 4-for-18 for 10 points and had five turnovers.
Turning point: The Wizards blew a 14-point lead and went into the fourth quarter tied at 74, but the reserves pulled them back ahead. Eric Maynor, Martell Webster, Trevor Ariza, Al Harrington and Kevin Seraphin all contributed as they appeared to turn it around and take an 85-78 lead. The Sixers, however, went on a run fueled by Carter-Williams, Thaddeus Young, Turner and Spencer Hawes.
Best in show: Wall found his jump shot. He made two three-pointers and finished with a team-high 26 on 10-for-19 shooting to go with six assists, five rebounds, three steals and just two turnovers. Sixers guard Evan Turner, drafted behind Wall at second overall in the 2010 draft, kept his team in striking distance with 23 points on 10-for-18 shooting. Young led all scorers with 29.
Surprise: Coach Randy Wittman said that Marcin Gortat would come off the bench and that he expected Nene (strained calf) to play. He was 0-for-2. While Gortat made his first start and finished with 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting, seven rebounds and three blocks. Nene was in street clothes on the bench and his status for later in the week is unknown.
Key stat: The Sixers scored 74 points in the paint, 20 more than the Wizards.
Talking points: 1). Is the old Wall -- the one who was a solid jump shooter to end last season -- back to stay? 2). How long will Nene be out? 3). Will Gortat still start when Nene returns? 4). Where's the bench scoring?
DNP: Jan Vesely and Glen Rice didn't touch the court for the second game in a row.
From the locker room: "It was just us taking our foot off the pedal and just letting them come back into the game way too easily instead of just going out there and putting the game away early. We gave them way too many open chances and we didn't convert on the other end and it hurt us." -- Beal
"We just didn't execute. We didn't make shots. We didn't move the ball and they got out in the open court and scored 65 points in the second half so we didn't do a great job defensively. We have a lot of room for improvement. It's just embarrassing to lose your home opener when you had a great chance of going in and taking over the lead." -- Wall
"Commitment to (expletive) playing defense. That's what it is. That's what it boils down to. We haven't learned. I got to figure out a way. You could see it coming out of the locker room. Got to respect the game. Your opponent. We came out obviously in the first half and got after it. Created turnovers and held them to 40 percent shooting. Then the second half there was absolutely none. Our guards were picking up their guards at the free throw line. We had no pressure on the wings. We created nothing defensively in the second half. We just come out and play and think we're going to win the game. This has happened over and over and over again and I've got to figure it out. That's obviously the first question. I've got to figure out to get theses guys to play the right way for 48 minutes." -- Wittman
Up next: The Wizards will practice Saturday afternoon before leaving for Miami. They meet Sunday (CSN, 6 p.m. ET)