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Wizards, 76ers Look To Get On Winning Track
Posted Dec 8 2006 12:29PM
NBA.com Daily Confidential
It took the Washington Wizards nine tries to post their first road win of the season. They should have a good chance to make it two straight on Friday, visiting a Philadelphia 76ers team which has won only twice in the past month.
Washington (8-10) ended a franchise-record streak of eight consecutive road losses to start a season with a 113-102 win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday.
Now the Wizards seek a season-high third straight victory overall - they ended Dallas' 12-game winning streak on Monday - while handing Philadelphia its sixth loss in a row. Though the 76ers (5-12) have won just two of 12 games since their 3-0 start, Washington has won only two of 12 visits to Philadelphia this decade.
The Wizards hope their hot shooting carries over to this game, having hit 14-for-20 from beyond the arc Wednesday to tie a franchise record and NBA season high for 3-pointers made.
Poor shooting was a big reason Washington had been winless on the road. Despite making nearly 49 percent from the field in New York, the Wizards are shooting 41 percent on the road this season and 30.7 percent from 3-point range.
``So far this season we haven't made shots, especially on the road,'' said forward Antawn Jamison, who had a season-high 33 points on 12-of-18 shooting. ``Sometimes it is that easy.''
Jamison shot 33 percent while averaging 9.8 points in his previous five road games.
All-Star guard Gilbert Arenas had his second straight 38-point night to increase his average to 26.8 points per game.
Arenas is 28-for-51 (54.9 percent) from the field in his last two games, but is still shooting just 32 percent away from home this season.
``Most sports say this: Your stars have to play well on the road,'' Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. ``Antawn comes up with 33, shot at a high percentage. Gil's 38 carried the game. Both those guys carried the game for us and your stars have to do that on the road.''
Philadelphia's biggest star is just hoping to be healthy for this game. Allen Iverson, the NBA's second-leading scorer at 31.2 points per game, sat out the fourth quarter of Wednesday's 121-94 road loss to Chicago due to back spasms.
It was the most points allowed this season by the 76ers, who are mired in their longest losing streak since a six-game skid from Nov. 27-Dec. 8, 2004.
``We've lost 12 out of 14 games and obviously, something needs to be done,'' Iverson said. ``There needs to be a change. Somehow, something needs to be scrambled up. We need to figure out how to play a different way, because the way we're playing is not getting it done.''
Philadelphia allowed Chicago to shoot 61.5 percent from the field - the highest by any 76ers opponent this season - and was outscored 39-16 in the first quarter.
The 76ers have allowed more than 100 points in five of their last six games, and have shot better than 50 percent only twice this season.
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