Sixers carry momentum into tilt with Wizards
(SportsNetwork.com) - After stunning the defending champion Miami Heat on opening night Wednesday, the Philadelphia 76ers hit the road to meet the Washington Wizards Friday.
The Sixers, predicted by most to be the worst team in the NBA, flew out to a 19-0 lead against the Heat, but fell behind in the fourth quarter. They won that period, 29-16, and shocked the NBA with the victory.
"It was a thrill to be part of last night," admitted new coach Brett Brown.
Rookie Michael Carter-Williams provided the spark needed for the victory. The 11th pick in this summer's draft scored 22 points, handed out 12 assists, grabbed seven rebounds and had nine steals.
Carter-Williams received a huge compliment after the game when Magic Johnson, one of the greatest to play the game, tweeted: "I just got done watching the guy I think will be the Rookie of The Year, Michael Carter-Williams of the 76ers."
"I had a great game, it was a lot of fun with the guys," Carter-Williams said after practice on Thursday. "We still have 81 games to play so we still have to stay focused."
Evan Turner led the Sixers with 26 points, five assists and four rebounds. Spencer Hawes chipped in 24 points and nine boards and Tony Wroten and Thaddeus Young both scored in double figures.
The Wizards dropped their season-opener, 113-102, to the Detroit Pistons at The Palace at Auburn Hills. Friday will mark the home opener for a team with legitimate playoff aspirations.
"I'm very excited to see how the fans are going to be," said John Wall. "We're very excited to go out there and try and get a win."
Trevor Ariza paced the Wiz with 28 points and 10 rebounds. He shot 6-for-11 from long range. Wall, armed with a new max contract extension, scored 20 points with 11 assists.
Bradley Beal (17) and Nene (12) were the only other Wizards in double figures.
Washington was beaten on the defensive end worst of all Wednesday night. The Pistons shot 50 percent from the field and now the Wizards have the suddenly perilous task of stopping Carter-Williams.
"Let's hope he got that out of his system," joked head coach Randy Wittman.
Philadelphia took two of three from the Wizards last season, but has dropped six of its last eight in the nation's capital.
11/01 10:55:20 ET