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News » 76ers-Wizards Preview 2009-02-24

76ers-Wizards Preview 2009-02-24

76ers-Wizards Preview 2009-02-24
After their last game, the Philadelphia 76ers may be wondering just how bad things are going to get.

The struggling 76ers look to rebound from a stunning last-second loss as they take on a Washington Wizards team that's looking toward next season Wednesday night.

Philadelphia (27-28) suffered its fourth straight defeat Monday on Devin Harris' last-second half-court shot that gave New Jersey a 98-96 victory. Andre Iguodala had put the 76ers up 96-95 with 1.8 seconds left by hitting the second of two free throws, but Harris took the inbounds pass, rushed to midcourt and launched a 47-footer with Iguodala shadowing him.

The officials reviewed the replay and ruled that Harris got the shot off in time, but Iguodala wasn't convinced.

"I thought a lot was going on for 1.8 seconds," he said. "I thought for sure it wasn't good and I still don't think it was good."

The crushing defeat dropped the 76ers to 0-2 on their four-game trip. Philadelphia rolled into the All-Star break with four wins in a row, but that momentum appears to have deserted it during the week off.

"This was a real disappointment because I felt we played well enough to win the game," said Philadelphia interim coach Tony DiLeo, whose team is battling for one of the final three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. "To put up a shot like Devin Harris did was heartbreaking for our team."

The 76ers put themselves in position to lose on Harris' shot by going 23-of-37 (62.2 percent) from the foul line.

Facing a Wizards team that's in the East basement might be what Philadelphia needs to get back on track. In the teams' last meeting Jan. 30, the 76ers improved to 3-0 against Washington this season with a 104-94 victory. Iguodala and Willie Green scored 20 points apiece in the win.

Philadelphia should have a good chance to end its skid if it can duplicate its last effort at the Verizon Center. The Sixers shot 49 percent from the field in snapping a five-game slide in Washington with a 109-103 victory Dec. 19.

Louis Williams scored a season-high 26 points off the bench to lead the 76ers in that contest.

While Philadelphia suffered a painfully close loss in its last game, Washington (13-43) continues a three-game homestand following one of its worst defeats this season. The Wizards were routed 98-67 by San Antonio on Saturday in their lowest-scoring game since a 111-67 loss at New Jersey on Jan. 16, 2002. Washington's point total was the third-lowest in franchise history.

The Wizards missed all nine 3-point attempts and watched as former teammate Roger Mason went 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. He finished with 25 points.

Mason spent the last two seasons with Washington, and he's clearly missed there in 2008-09.

"That's what we need," said forward Antawn Jamison, averaging 21.7 points and 11.3 boards in three games versus Philadelphia this season. "We need a veteran who knows how to play the game, a guy who can play multiple positions, a guy who can knock down big shots, a guy who is defensively sound. That's a luxury we had last year, and that's a luxury we don't have this year."

The Wizards were counting on guard Gilbert Arenas to return and help ease the loss of Mason, but he's been out all season after knee surgery. Washington did get some positive news on the injury front Monday during practice when Arenas and center Brendan Haywood (torn right wrist ligament) participated in light drills.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: February 24, 2009


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