The Philadelphia 76ers were the first team to come to Verizon Center and win on Oct. 31, when they rallied back from a 14-point deficit and stunned the Wizards, 109-102. The Wizards returned the favor on Nov. 6, when they went to Wells Fargo Center and claimed their first victory of the season with a 116-102 win over the 76ers.
Washington (19-20) has improved considerably since those early meetings while the 76ers have fallen back near the bottom of the standings in the Eastern Conference, as many expected when the season began. But the Wizards have continued to have problems winning at home, where they are just 9-10 after Saturday’s loss to the Detroit Pistons.
“Our job is try to protect home court and get wins at home and we haven’t done that at all,” Trevor Ariza. “We got to find ways to protect our home court and not let people come in here and beat us.”
John Wall has played well during the current homestand, averaging 27.3 points and 8.7 assists in the past three games. Wall scored 34 points on 15 of 23 shooting against the Pistons – his first 30-point game since – but felt obligated to carry the scoring load on a night when the starters scored just 38 points.
“I still tried to make the right play, but at times, I felt like being aggressive and I was making shots, so I was being more a scorer,” Wall said.
The Wizards will attempt to beat Philadelphia (13-27) for second time this season and get back to .500 – again – on Martin Luther King Day. They will have to win without backup Trevor Booker, who is sidelined with a sprained left ankle and listed as day-to-day.
(TV: Comcast SportsNet. Radio: WFED-1500).
Here’s some reading to help you get ready for the game: