Poof — Sixers' win streak vanishes in D.C.

Poof — Sixers' win streak vanishes in D.C.


WASHINGTON — The Sixers’ seven-game winning streak came to an end on the road Sunday at the hands of the Wizards, 109-94.

This matchup was a look ahead to a potential postseason matchup. The Sixers (32-26) are chasing the fourth seed, currently held by the Wizards (35-25), for homecourt advantage. They could have closed the gap on the two-game differential, but instead took a step back. 

The Sixers went into role reversal mode in the fourth. Just as the Magic had done to them the previous night, the Sixers tried to overcome a 23-point deficit with a late-game push. They got within eight points with under four minutes to go. 

The duo of starter Otto Porter Jr. (23 points) and reserve Kelly Oubre Jr. (19 points) set the tone of the game with a combined 32 points in the first half. Bradley Beal added another 24 points on the night to further separate the teams. 

The Sixers had not lost since Feb. 3, when they fell to the Pacers in Indiana. The Wizards continue to surge without All-Star John Wall (left knee surgery). They improved to 9-3 in his recent absence. 

• Joel Embiid continued to play on the second night of back-to-back series. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, his 31st double-double of the season. Embiid played through foul trouble after picking up his fourth two minutes into the third. 

• The Sixers had a rough night on the offensive end, shooting just 36 percent from the field while connecting on only nine of their 33 attempts from three-point range. The Wizards, on the other hand, shot at a 54.4 percent clip while connecting on 12 of their 25 threes.

• Marco Belinelli (10 points, 2-for-7 from three) played 25 minutes as he gets acclimated to his new teammates. Brett Brown believes Ben Simmons and Embiid will benefit from the spacing created by the veteran guard. 

“He’s a great cutter,” Simmons (16 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) said. “He can shoot the ball and his IQ is pretty good on the floor, so it just makes it easier for me.” 

• Brown went back to Amir Johnson as the first backup five off the bench. Richaun Holmes, who clocked 21 minutes Saturday, got 12 minutes in the second half, at times at the four alongside Embiid. 

• The Sixers could not capitalize on scoring 31 points off 19 Wizards turnovers. The Sixers gave up 17 points off 15 errors. 

• The Capital One Arena is the scene of Markelle Fultz’s opening night shooting struggles. Months later, he showed progress during drills before the game: 

• There always is a strong showing of Sixers fans in Washington, D.C. On Sunday they filled seats sporting jerseys ranging from Embiid and Simmons to Allen Iverson to Jrue Holiday. Fans loudly chanted “Trust the Process” and mixed in “E-A-G-L-E-S” every now and then. 

• Up next: The Sixers will travel to Miami to play the Heat Tuesday. Miami is currently in the eighth spot at 31-29. 

Western Conference streaks give Sixers a boost

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Western Conference streaks give Sixers a boost

SAN ANTONIO -- LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and nine rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs won their fifth straight, 98-90 over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

San Antonio remained in sixth place in the Western Conference, one-half game behind fourth-place Oklahoma City. The Spurs close out a six-game homestand on Friday against Utah, which is 1 games behind San Antonio in eighth place.

Bradley Beal and Kelly Oubre Jr. each had 21 points to lead the Wizards, who dropped into sixth in the Eastern Conference.

San Antonio's winning streak follows a 3-11 skid that briefly dropped the Spurs out of playoff position.

Aldridge has been critical to the turnaround, averaging 29.6 points and 9.2 rebounds during the streak.

Against Washington, Aldridge scored nine points during a 23-9 run that gave San Antonio a 17-point lead with four minutes left in the third quarter.

Without injured All-Star John Wall, the Wizards were unable to answer (see full recap).

Davis, Pelicans outlast Pacers for 3rd straight win
NEW ORLEANS -- Anthony Davis capped a 28-point, 13-rebound, five-block performance with a 15-foot baseline fade, a gritty put-back and two free throws in the final minute, and the New Orleans Pelicans outlasted the Indiana Pacers 96-92 on Wednesday night.

E'Twaun Moore scored 23 for New Orleans, which had to overcome a scrappy defensive effort by Indiana to win its third straight.

The Pelicans, who average nearly 112 points per game, were limited to 43 percent (34 of 79) accuracy by the Pacers, who also turned 20 New Orleans turnovers into 15 points.

The Pacers shot only 36.6 percent (34 of 93), but kept the game close with 15 offensive rebounds and 17 second-chance points.

Neither team led by more than six, and the game was tied at 87 with 1:49 left, after Victor Oladipo's block of Jrue Holiday sent Darren Collison away for a fast-break layup as he was fouled by Moore.

Moore put back his own miss with 1:24 to play to put the Pelicans back in front, and after Oladipo was called for a travel with 1:12 to go, Davis hit his clutch fade in front of the Pacers' bench, holding his right arm up triumphantly as the shot went down (see full recap).

Howard has historic night in Hornets’ comeback
NEW YORK -- Dwight Howard had 32 points and 30 rebounds, becoming the first player with a 30-30 game against the Nets since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1978, and the Charlotte Hornets stormed back to beat Brooklyn 111-105 on Wednesday night.

Kemba Walker scored 10 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter for the Hornets, who trailed by as many 23 points in the second half to win in front of an announced crowd of 10,231 at Barclay Center while a heavy snowfall outside blanketed the New York City area.

Trailing 105-102 with 2:14 left in regulation, the Hornets went on a 9-0 run to pull off the impressive comeback.

Jeremy Lamb, who had 17 points to help end Charlotte's two-game losing streak, made a layup to cut the deficit to 105-104. The Hornets then called a timeout after a miss by Caris LeVert with 23 seconds left. On the ensuing possession, Walker spun around Quincy Acy and capped a three-point play to put Charlotte up 107-105, the Hornets' first lead of the night since a 16-15 advantage with 5:46 in the opening quarter.

LeVert missed a chance to tie it when he was met by Howard under the basket. Howard then hit a pair of free throws to make it 109-105.

D'Angelo Russell scored 19 points and LeVert added 11 for the Nets, whose two-game winning streak was cut short. They have yet to have won three consecutive this season (see full recap).

Robert Covington shoveled snow before Sixers' win

Robert Covington shoveled snow before Sixers' win

Did you hire someone to shovel out your driveway in Winter Storm Toby?

Robert Covington didn’t. 

“I shoveled my driveway and the sidewalk and my walkway,” Covington said following the Sixers' 119-105 win over the Grizzlies on Wednesday (see observations). “[It took me] about 20 minutes. It wasn’t that bad because the snow wasn’t really heavy and it wasn’t sticking, so I just kind of, in and out.” 

The thing is, Covington actually likes to shovel snow. It’s a task he grew up doing during the winters in Illinois and one that taught him the value of hard work. He shoveled to help his family and elderly neighbors who needed a hand. 

“The responsibility that my parents instilled in me was, when you’re told to do something, you’ve got to make sure you handle your business and you have to do it at a certain level,” Covington said. 

Covington, who signed a $60 million contract this season, easily could have hired a snow removal service to help him get to the game on time. But there was something he liked about taking care of it.  

“I’ve always done it myself,” Covington said. “It kind of gives you a sense of still working and still doing the simple things. Everybody tells me I could have paid someone to do it, one of the kids in the neighborhood, but it wasn’t about that. It was just something quick. I chose to go out there and do it, knock it out.”

The snow didn't slow down Covington at all. He scored 15 points in less than 23 minutes, shooting an efficient 6 for 9 from the field and 3 for 4 from three. 

So given how well he played following the shoveling, did he stumble upon a new pregame routine?

“No,” Covington said with a laugh. “I won’t continue to do that because I kind of got a little sniffles while I was out there. No, I won’t be out doing that too much because I don’t want to get sick.”