The Philadelphia 76ers' lead atop the Atlantic Division is no more, as the Boston Celtics now share the top spot. The Sixers will try to maintain slim bragging rights in the division when they pay a visit to the Washington Wizards tonight at the Verizon Center.
Philadelphia has won two of three games since losing four of five contests, and recorded a 103-85 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday from Wells Fargo Center. Playing without All-Star Andre Iguodala for a second straight game due to a case of tendinitis in his left knee, Jodie Meeks blew up for a career-high 31 points on 7 of 10 shooting from beyond the arc.
"You just try to take good shots and whatever happens, happens," said Meeks about his offensive onslaught. "Anytime you see the ball go in the hole it gives you confidence, but I'm always a player with confidence as long as I'm taking good shots, I don't really worry about it."
Jrue Holiday added 19 points and six assists, while Lou Williams collected 11 points, seven rebounds and seven assists off the bench for the Sixers. Iguodala is questionable for tonight and the team went 5-10 without him a year ago. Holiday is averaging 18.3 ppg in his past six contests and Evan Turner has scored 10-plus points in each of the past two games after not scoring more than six in any of the previous four contests.
The Sixers, who own a 10-12 road mark, are currently seeded fourth in the Eastern Conference and are just 8-13 since opening the compressed season with a 20-9 record. They currently hold the tiebreaker against the Celtics for division supremacy and hope Minnesota can take care of business tonight versus Boston in the Twin Cities.
Washington is back home following last night's 93-89 loss in Indiana, as Jordan Crawford paced the visitors with 20 points and Nene tallied 16 with 13 rebounds.
"They got a lead and they just kept it the rest of the quarter," said Wizards guard John Wall, who finished with 13 points. "We were fighting, but we couldn't find a way to get back in front."
The Wizards have lost five straight and 10 of 12 games, and will try to put the clamps on a four-game home losing streak tonight. They are 6-19 at the Verizon Center this season.
Washington has come up short in each of the three meetings with Philadelphia this season and is winless in the last five matchups between the teams. The Sixers, though, have dropped nine of 12 and 11 of their last 15 trips to D.C.