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Wizards better in second outing, still come away with loss to 76ers
PHILADELPHIA — As promised, Washington Wizards coach Flip Saunders mixed up his lineup, playing every combination imaginable. In the end, the results were the same — another loss — as the Wizards fell to the 76ers, 101-94. But the Wizards showed some improvement over Friday night’s contest, and all the lineup changes gave Saunders some valuable information.
“I went with some of our young guys down the stretch to see how’d they react,” Saunders said.
“Overall, I was pleased. We couldn’t throw it in the ocean early, but we hung in there and came back. I thought overall, we were pretty solid defensively most of the night.”
JaVale McGee played well, leading the way with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting, with nine rebounds and two blocks, but the defensive stat of the night went to Trevor Booker, who led the team with 11 rebounds.
“I was actually in better shape than I thought I was,” Booker said. “I just tried to bring some energy, and I felt like I did pretty good. We did better than we did Friday, but we still need to all get better on the defensive end,” Booker said. It was Booker’s first game back since suffering a thigh bruise while playing overseas during the lockout.
“I would have liked to see our young guys pull it out in the end, but I think our guys feel good as far as the things we said we had to do to get better today,” Saunders said.
“I felt pretty good,” Mack said. “Coach gave me lot of confidence keeping me in the game. I’m just trying to improve and learn from the mistakes we made in the first game.”
A few of the starters still have yet to get into a cohesive rhythm. John Wall, Jordan Crawford and Nick Young all struggled from the floor, with Wall going 5-for-14, Crawford 6-for-21, and Young 3-for-10.
“He’s got to get in a lot better shape,” Saunders said of Young. “There’s no question that when he got tired and his legs went, everything went a little haywire. When he hit that brick wall, it was like he was searching for where there was oxygen somewhere in the arena.”
Wall denied he was pressing.
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About the Author
Carla Peay keeps you up to date on the Washington Wizards and the NBA.
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- Kevin Seraphin gets some tough love from his 'big brothers'
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