Last season, the Wizards took the Philadelphia 76ers lightly and ended up embarrassed on the road. Friday, they took care of business -- coming off games with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors -- at Verizon Center as they led from start to finish behind John Wall's fourth career triple-double and first of the season.
Wall (18 points, a career-high 13 rebounds and 10 assists) helped Washington (22-26) get five players in double figures. Marcin Gortat (21 points, 13 rebounds) led them followed by Bradley Beal (22 points), Jared Dudley (13 points, four rebounds, four assists) and Gary Neal (11 points).
If the Sixers (7-43) didn't make a run to`get the deficit down to 82-72 on a three-pointer by Nik Stauskas, Wall might not have been around to throw the lob to Beal in the last five minutes for the triple-double.
But he did, and he followed that up by five quick points, including a three-pointer of his own, to squash the Sixers' comeback hopes.
Ish Smth (22 points), who was cut by the Wizards in training camp, was one of just two players in double figures for Philadelphia. Isaiah Canaan (18 points) was the other.
- Beal made his first start since Dec. 9 when a stress injury to his lower right leg knocked him out for 16 games. Beal played 32 minutes in the first game of a back-to-back. How much, or if he plays, Saturday at the Charlotte Hornets is undetermined. He stayed on the court in the final three minutes after a timeout.
- Porter's non-aggression with the second unit was striking. He went into halftime having taken only two shots and missed both. The Wizards made a point to get him involved out of the locker room, calling a play for him on the first possession for a three-pointer. He was 2 of 8 in 25 minutes for just five points.
- The Wizards gave them life with a string of turnovers early in the third. They led 68-49 and then Wall had two giveaways, then Dudley, Gortat and Beal each had one. The Sixers didn't capitalize much but that's about 10 points the Wizards left on the table.
- Rookie center Jahlil Okafor took mostly contested and shots. He never could get anything going against Gortat who was too quick for him getting up and down the court. Okafor had his fifth foul in the last minute of the third quarter and only played 21 minutes (nine points).
- Kelly Oubre and Jarell Eddie didn't get in the game until the final 1:07. It's games like this in which they should be able to get their minutes.
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