Wiz get first win over Sixers 116-102
PHILADELPHIA -- Nene returned to the court for the Wizards, and his presence in the starting lineup with Marcin Gortat made a world of difference.
The Wizards (1-3) jumped out to a 15-point lead, scoring 39 points in the first quarter behind 10 points from Gortat, and held on throughout to get their first win of the season at Wells Fargo Center.
John Wall played the best floor game so far, getting game-highs of 24 points -- and a career-high five three-pointers -- and nine assists.
The Wizards almost lost their edge on several occasions. Entering the second quarter with a 38-27 lead, the second unit shot 2-for-11 as the Sixers trimmed the deficit to 43-40.
But Trevor Ariza's three-pointer and a transition dunk by Bradley Beal ended that threat.
All five starters reached double figures for the Wizards with Ariza (15 points, six rebounds), Nene (10 points, five rebounds), Gortat (19 points, 12 rebounds) and Beal (17 points, a career-high eight assists, five rebounds).
When these teams met last week, the Sixers (3-2) had 74 points in the paint and were led by Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young. While Hawes had 23 points, Young, who was defended mostly by Nene, only had seven.
The Sixers were held to 38 points in the paint this time.
Turning point: Gortat made a hustle play to break up a fast break, but he saved the loose ball and blindly threw it directly to Hawes for an uncontested dunk to bring the Sixers to 71-67. But Wall responded with a three-pointer as the shot clock wound down, Gortat tapped in a miss three-point shot from Beal and Nene rebounded a missed free throw from Beal for a 78-67 lead to regain control for good.
Best in show: Wall. He made 5 of 8 three-point shots and the timing usually interrupted runs by the Sixers. He got the scorers involved early and took quality shots. Seven Wizards scored in double figures.
Needs improvement: Eric Maynor. He was just 2-for-7 shooting for five points, and when he entered in the second quarter the Wizards lost their pace -- and almost their lead.
Four play: With the Sixers closing in 78-72, Al Harrington responded with a three-pointer. Gortat was fouled underneath and made the free throw for the unlikely four-point play and a 82-72 lead.
Key stats: The Wizards made 18 of 33 three-pointers for 54.5% and had 32 assists.
DNP: Jan Vesely and Glen Rice didn't touch the court for the fourth game in a row. Garrett Temple and Trevor Booker (left index finger) didn't get off the bench, either. Booker had been starting at power forward.
From the locker room: "We came out really hot in that first quarter, but it was because of our activity. We were up in the passing lanes, getting deflections. I thought our activity is what really got us going. I told our guys we have to be a defense that drives our offense. We withstood some bad stretches. We had four points in the second quarter for a long time, but we stood. We didn't put our heads down and we kept through it." -- coach Randy Wittman
"It was great. Whenever we have a chance to just play the right way, and it showed tonight that we can compete and put teams away. It's a game of runs. They made a good run and we came back and made a good run as well. So I think we did a good job of staying with it." -- Beal
"We knew coming out we had a tough game against them when they came and took our home court away from us on opening night when we though we had a great game won. They're a great, competitive team. I like how they play as a young team. They don't give up." -- Wall
"You've got a speed demon like John Wall, what do you want him to do? It's not disrespecting his shot or anything, but he's such a great drive and slider. He gets to the line 15 times in one night and that could be a headache for us. But tonight they did their job, made great shots and played well." -- Sixers guard Evan Turner on defending Wall when he hitting three-pointers.
Up next: The Wizards likely will practice Thursday and Friday at Verizon Center. They play the Brooklyn Nets there Friday (CSN, 7 p.m ET).