76ers Crush Wizards, 120 – 89
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PHILADELPHIA – Jodie Meeks tied a career high with 26 points, Lou Williams had 19 and Spencer Hawes added 10 points and 10 rebounds to help the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Washington Wizards 120-89 on Friday night.
Led by their usual balanced offense, the Sixers led by 34 points in the third quarter and crushed the NBA-worst Wizards. All five starters reached double-digit scoring for the Atlantic Division leaders. They won for the seventh time in eight games overall and improved to 5-0 at home.
While the Sixers dominated the entire game, the real damage was done in the third quarter. They made 16 of 23 shots from the floor and outscored the Wizards by 20.
Meeks finished 10 of 11 from the floor and 6 of 7 from 3-point range.
Coming off a franchise-low 64-point performance against Chicago, the Wizards were no better against Philadelphia’s active defense. Rashard Lewis scored 16 and the Wizards went 4 for 17 in 3-point shooting.
The Sixers have six players averaging double digits, and Elton Brand entered just under at 9.7. Brand scored 13 and seven Sixers were in double digits, including Andre Iguodala (13), Jrue Holiday (12) and Evan Turner (12).
Hawes was sharp after missing Wednesday’s loss at New York with a strained back. He gave the thumbs up sign to reporters in the locker room to say that he was playing. Because of the rout, he played only 19 minutes and should be ready to go for Saturday’s game at Washington.
The Wizards must wish they could skip the rematch.
The Sixers pushed the ball all game and dominated on the fastbreak, scoring 32 points. In the first, Meeks buried a 3 in transition for a 20-14 lead. Meeks’ bucket came in a stretch during which the Sixers made eight straight field goals.
Philly got worse as the game went on — they only made seven straight in the third.
Yeah, it was that kind of game for the Sixers, where everything they tossed up seemed to go in.
Late in the third, Thaddeus Young lost the ball, but Brand recovered. He looked to pass, had nowhere to go — and no defender in front of him — and calmly buried a 15-footer.
Holiday had the play of the game in the fourth, grabbing a defensive rebound, then ran the length of the court for an uncontested layup. Meeks followed with a fastbreak layup after snagging the ball at Washington’s free-throw line to make it 109-84.
Williams ended the first half with a three-point play and finished the third with a 3-pointer.
The Wizards simply had no answers.
The Sixers entered first in the NBA in opponents’ scoring (85.5 percent), field-goal defense (39.4 percent ) and 3-point defense (26.2 defense). Only some garbage-time buckets allowed the Wizards to top 86 points.
NOTES: The Sixers are off to their best home start since they went 10-0 in 2002-03. … The Sixers have held their last six opponents below 90 points.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)