Washington Wizards resume search for success against Philadelphia 76ers

Someone's five-game losing streak will end Friday night in Philadelphia when the Washington Wizards visit the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center.

Washington's slide is noteworthy as it is a playoff team sinking down the standings. The Wizards are fifth in the Eastern Conference, but just a half- game ahead of the surprising Milwaukee Bucks.


The Wizards are 2-10 in their last 12 and have endured without guard Bradley Beal, who is shelved with a stress reaction in lower right leg. Washington has dropped six straight on the road, but returns home Saturday night versus the Detroit Pistons.

Wednesday night looked like a good time to curb the skid as the Wizards visited the Minnesota Timberwolves. Problem was, the T-wolves played with a ton of emotion as Kevin Garnett returned to his original NBA home and Minny posted a 97-77 victory.

Garnett's impact in the box score was modest, but his return to Minnesota was satisfying in terms of the crowd.

"I don't know if I've ever been in a game in the NBA where there was the energy and the enthusiasm in that building tonight," Minnesota coach Flip Saunders said. "And it's because of one guy."

Otto Porter led Washington with 13 points, Nene chipped in 12, and Garrett Temple netted 11. John Wall handed out 10 assists, but was held to five points.

"It's tough times right now," Wizards head coach Randy Wittman said. "You have to fight through it."

Paul Pierce missed the game with a bruised right knee and is listed as questionable for Friday night. Same status for Kris Humphries, who is battling a strained left groin.

The Sixers' woes are more easily explainable. They are among the worst teams in the league and didn't improve at the NBA trade deadline when they shipped reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams to Milwaukee and got back a first-round pick.

Since the trade, the Sixers dropped three straight on the road. It was Carter- Williams who trumped his former team, as the Bucks demolished the Sixers, 104-88, Wednesday.

Carter-Williams made his Milwaukee debut and posted seven points with a team- high eight assists in the win.

"(My teammates) make it easy for me," Carter-Williams said. "My job is to just run the plays and find them, get in the lanes. It's fun. I'm having a great time."

Jason Richardson netted a season-high 16 points, while Robert Covington and Isaiah Canaan chipped in 13 and 11 points, respectively, in the loss, the Sixers 11th straight on the road.

"We just gotta have some pride within ourselves," Richardson said.

The Wizards have won four in a row over the Sixers, including the last two in Philadelphia.


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