Following a 103-83 loss to Philadelphia that was more lopsided than the score would indicate, the Washington Wizards had no trouble articulating the reasons why this particular matchup confounds them to no end.
“They just force us to play bad basketball really,” said Wizards backup guard Jordan Crawford, who scored a team-high 17 points, including 13 in the second half.
“I just think they do a good job of forcing us to play one-on-one basketball,” point guard John Wall said.
Those sentiments played out on the stat sheet, with Philadelphia logging 30 assists to 15 for the Wizards. Wall led the Wizards with five assists, but he committed four turnovers.
On Philadelphia’s side, forward Andrew Iguodala had a game-high 11 assists with but one turnovers, and backup guard Evan Turner had five assists. Turner’s two turnovers were the most for any Philadelphia player.
“They play really well together,” Nick Young said of the 76ers, who have beaten Washington three straight times this season and five in a row counting the two exhibition games. “They are a great team. They are well balanced.”
The Wizards were on their heels from just after tip-off, when Philadelphia reeled off a 19-4 run that began the rout. The 76ers soon expanded the lead to 30 points, and Washington was virtually helpless the rest of the way in playing on the second night of a back-to-back and for the third time in four days.
Trailing by such a wide margin, the Wizards became understandably impatient in the second half and began taking quick shots. The misses led to fast-break baskets for Philadelphia, which grew the margin to as many as 34 points.
“I think that we were probably tired today,” Coach Flip Saunders said. “You have got to give Philly credit. That’s what you do [to an opponent] in back-to-back situations. You jump on a team, a tired team, a young team.”