PHILADELPHIA — John Wall posted his second double-double in as many nights Thursday night in the Washington Wizards’ 99-94 win over the Philadelphia 76ers with 16 points, 14 assists, and 13 rebounds. It was his fourth of the season – all of which have come in the last six weeks – and the seventh of his career.
He became the first player in franchise history with a triple-double in consecutive games since Darrell Walker in Jan. 1991 and now stands tied for second on the franchise’s all-time list with Wes Unseld. Walker is atop the pack with 15.
But the two-night binge has come with a blemish: A barrage of turnovers. Wall tallied eight giveaways Wednesday against the Chicago Bulls and followed it up with a season-high nine of Washington’s 23 on Friday.
“It’s times when I should shoot the ball and I’m making extra passes and make plays and keep moving the ball like we were doing in the first half,” Wall said. “I’m just not being aggressive looking for my shot. So it’s something easy I can fix.”
Wall began Thursday leading the NBA in touches and front-court touches per game, which means the chances of him committing a turnover are higher than anyone else in the league.
But Wall entered the season with the goal of averaging fewer than three giveaways per game – he even pledged to pay assistant coach Howard Eisley $100 for every game he committed more than two before the NBA disallowed the wager – and has compiled fewer than three turnovers in just 18 games this season. He ranks third in the league in turnovers at 4.1, trailing James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
On Thursday, Wall registered four of Washington’s 12 turnovers during an ugly third quarter in which the 76ers outscored the Wizards 22-15 before coming back to tie the game after a 24-point deficit.
“The good thing is John wasn’t happy about it, obviously,” Coach Randy Wittman said.
Wall had three more giveaways in nine fourth-quarter minutes, but he also closed the game out with eight free throws in the final 14.6 seconds.
“As long as we win,” Wall said.
The Wizards return to the District to face the New York Knicks on Saturday night at Verizon Center. The Knicks (28-41) are coming off a 121-85 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. They beat the Wizards in Washington’s home opener on Halloween, 117-110, and Washington claimed the second matchup at Madison Square Garden, 111-108, on Feb. 9.