PHILADELPHIA — A “DNP” next to his name was all the motivation Nick Young needed to step up his game.
Thaddeus Young and Lavoy Allen each added 14 points to help the Sixers win for just the fourth time in 13 games and seventh in 24.
Emeka Okafor had 15 points and 17 rebounds, Nene scored 16 and Martell Webster got 15 for Washington.
Doesn’t look like “Swaggy P” is going to sit anytime soon.
“That DNP, it hurt,” Young said. “Sitting on the sideline, I don’t want to get back to that. I’m starting to buy into what the coaches are talking about.”
“He has really listened as we’ve tried to teach,” Collins said. “He’s focused. I told him when he came here: ‘My goal is to make you a polished player, not Swaggy P the act, but a player. He has talent. I knew if he focused, he could be a terrific player. He’s earned the respect of his teammates and coaches.”
The Wizards dropped to 6-5 since John Wall returned from a knee injury. They were 5-28 without him and entered with the second-worst record in the NBA. Wall had nine points on 3-for-12 shooting.
“You are going to have nights like this,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “Their defense played real good. But you still have to get shot attempts. We had some crucial turnovers. We battled, we kept in it.”
The Sixers are three games into an eight-game homestand and need to use the home-court advantage to make up some ground in the playoff race. They entered three games behind Boston for the final spot in the East. The Celtics just lost All-Star Rajon Rondo for the season with a knee injury.
Young seemed to enjoy making some big shots. Young spent his first 4½ seasons in Washington before going to the Los Angeles Clippers in a trade last March. He signed a free-agent deal with Philadelphia in the offseason.
“It’s a great feeling, especially when you win,” Young said.