The Washington Wizards embark on a three-game road trip starting Wednesday with an appointment north at Philadelphia to take on the 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Wizards have played good basketball over the last three weeks, going 7-4 in the last 11. John Wall has been back for 10 games and is averaging 14.6 points, 6.6 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.
Bradley Beal is constantly improving. After he won the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month honors for December, he is averaging 15.1 ppg in the month of January.
The real revelation of late has been Emeka Okafor. The veteran big man is averaging 11.8 points and 13.5 rebounds in his last six games and has pulled down 15-plus rebounds in three of his last six.
None of it helped Monday night when the Wizards' five-game home winning streak was snapped by the Sacramento Kings. Washington fell 96-94 when Isaiah Thomas floated home the go-ahead bucket with just a second left on the clock.
"We know we're in a situation where we can win these games," said Wall. "We have the talent to do it, we just didn't execute and had a couple of misdirections and turnovers down the stretch."
Okafor was excellent with 23 points and 15 rebounds. Wall added 19 and Martell Webster chipped in 18.
The Sixers are on the third game of an eight-game homestand. They are 1-1 thus far after dropping a heartbreaker to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night, 103-100.
Rudy Gay provided the go-ahead basket for the Grizzlies with 13.3 seconds left and Marc Gasol came over from guarding the in-bound passer to block Nick Young's 3-pointer to tie.
"I told our guys today we're playing winning basketball right now, but we're making losing plays," Collins said at practice on Tuesday. "Unfortunately, the results recently here were a couple of really tough losses against really good teams."
Evan Turner led the way for the Sixers with 27 points and seven assists. Thaddeus Young added 23 points and seven rebounds and All-Star Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 10 assists.
The Sixers shot 54.2 percent from the field and 44 percent from long range, but allowed Memphis to shoot 54.8 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Grizzlies are not known for their 3-point prowess.
Philly was out-rebounded, 38-27, by the Grizzlies.
The Sixers, who haven't won consecutive games since late November, took three out of four last season from the Wizards. Washington hasn't won in Philadelphia since Jan. 5, 2010, losing four straight there.