WASHINGTON -- In a season that includes 80 more games over the course of six months, it's almost impossible to assess a team based on a single performance.
But the 76ers at least showed that their season-opening victory over the Miami Heat might not be a fluke.
The reportedly content-with-losing Sixers defeated the Washington Wizards, 109-102, here Friday night in front of 17,160 at the Verizon Center.
With the win, the Sixers (2-0) are off to their best start since opening 3-0 during 2006-07 season. They can equal that start in Saturday night's game against the Chicago Bulls at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Wizards, meanwhile, dropped to 0-2.
"It's only two, but we sure are happy," first-year coach Brett Brown said. "I'm proud of them. I think it was a similar way that we won tonight in the way that we won versus Miami."
Like they did against the Heat, the Sixers overcame numerous miscues, battled back from a double-digit deficit and thrived in transition late in the game. They also scored 74 points in the paint against the Wizards.
This time, power forward Thaddeus Young and center Spencer Hawes provided the late heroics.
Young (10 points in the fourth quarter) and Hawes (seven) combined to score 17 clutch points in the final quarter.
His fourth-quarter effort enabled Young to finish with a game-high 29 points. It was his fourth time reaching that scoring total. Evan Turner finished with 23 points. Spencer Hawes made three three-pointers en route to finishing with 16 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. Michael Carter-Williams (14 points) and reserves Tony Wroten (10) and Lavoy Allen (10) were the team's other double-digit scorers.
John Wall led Washington with 26 points. He had 15 in the first quarter.
But the Sixers still have some improvements to make. It appeared that they would be doomed by turnovers (19) and poor three-point shooting (26 percent). And for most of the game, rookie point guard Carter-Williams looked like ... well a rookie.
The 6-foot-7, 185-pound struggled early two days after nearly recording a triple-double against the Heat.
The 11th overall pick out of Syracuse missed his first five shot attempts en route to going 6 for 15. Carter-Williams also had a tough time defending Wall early on.
Despite that, the Sixers battled back from a 14-point deficit and evened the score at 74-74 heading in the fourth quarter.
Then Carter-Williams hit a three-pointer to give the Sixers a 92-89 cushion with 6 minutes, 23 seconds left. That gave them the lead for good.
"Yeah, I was struggling a little bit, but my mind-set going into each and every game is to stay with it," said Carter-Williams, who had all five of his assists after intermission. "The game is not over until the clock says zero. I kept sticking with it, having confidence in my teammates and myself."
They opened up a five-point cushion on Turner put-back with 4:48 left. They extended their lead to nine points (101-92) with 3:49 left after Hawes' three-pointer and Young's layup.
"Anything in life, the toughest person is going to win," Turner said. "A guy willing to die in a fight is always going to win it. At the end of the day, we really just worked to win and that's all."
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