76ers Beat Wizards, Hold No. 8 Spot
Philadelphia 105, Washington 97
PHILADELPHIA, April 10 (Ticker) -- Kyle Korver and Steven Hunter picked an opportune time to offer Allen Iverson some help.
Korver and Hunter scored 20 points apiece as the Philadelphia 76ers posted a 105-97 victory over the Washington Wizards.
"We got things done at the right time," Iverson said. "Every time we went down, we kept our composure, got back into the lead and were able to sustain it."
"It is a step in the right direction," Korver said. "A few days ago, I don't think anyone was talking playoffs with us. We were falling off and now, it's a little bit better."
Korver made a jumper and 3-pointer to trigger a 10-0 surge early in the fourth that gave the Sixers an 89-80 lead. Hunter capped the burst with a three-point play at the 8:25 mark.
"We didn't turn the ball over and we got good shots," Korver said. "We didn't just rely on isolation plays and that was something that was different tonight. We just finished it off really well."
After the Wizards scored eight straight points, the Sixers answered with a 9-2 run, capped by a technical free throw by Korver with 2:22 left for a 98-90 lead.
"We would get down, find a way to get close or take the lead, and they'd come on a nice big run," Wizards forward Antawn Jamison said. "Those are the things you have to stop on the road. Every time it seemed that we got over the hump, they did a good job of staying poised and running their offense."
Korver made 8-of-16 shots in 32 effective minutes off the bench while Hunter, who started in place of Chris Webber (back), was 8-of-12 from the field and also grabbed eight rebounds.
"I've never been through so many ups and downs in one season," Hunter said. "To go from starter to not playing. To go from traded to not traded and to play again, it's been crazy. It taught me to keep things in perspective and enjoy basketball. I come to the gym ready to play and good things happen."
Jamison scored a season-high 37 points and Gilbert Arenas 32 for the Wizards (39-38), who have lost three straight games. Washington could have clinched a playoff berth with a win.
"We're just not winning," Arenas said. "It's the wrong time to be losing games. We're not getting it done. It's frustrating. We're one or two games away from clinching, and we just can't clinch it. It reminds me of last year. Around the same time we lost five in a row."
"Those guys had their playoffs shirts made up and wanted to wear them after the game," Iverson said. "We didn't give them a chance to do that. We had extra incentive to beat them. Now, they have to wear them somewhere else."
In the second quarter, Jamison scored 16 points and Arenas 15 to help the Wizards to a 54-50 halftime lead.
"It is very disappointing," Jamison said. "Tonight was a great opportunity to win. Unfortunately it didn't happen that way. We got a big game against Milwaukee on Wednesday. They're chasing us for that fifth spot, so it will be like a playoff game. Everybody needs to step up their game, and hopefully we can do something there."