WASHINGTON - After beating up on each other for days, the 76ers were anxious to face the Washington Wizards and test themselves against another NBA opponent.
They are still waiting for that test.
Facing a team that looked as if it still wanted to be locked out, the Sixers easily handled a disinterested-looking Washington team, crushing them by 103-78 at Verizon Center Friday night in the preseason opener for both teams.
"We were sharp; our defense was quick. We were helping each other out," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "All in all, I thought through the first three quarters we were sharp. I liked our countenance. Can I say that? Is that a word?"
He could, and he would have been safe referring to the game as an annihilation.
Granted, this was just the preseason, but the Sixers jumped on the Wizards early and never relented. Six players finished with double-figure scoring, led by reserve guard Lou Williams' 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting. Evan Turner, coming off the bench, scored all but two of his 16 points in the second half. Playing 30 minutes, Turner added seven rebounds and three assists. Center Spencer Hawes was one rebound short of a double-double, finishing with 14 points and nine boards. Jrue Holiday had five assists to go along with his 12 points, and Elton Brand and Thad Young added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Sixers turned what was a 21-point halftime lead into an 87-47 advantage after Williams sank the second of two free throws in the final minute of the third quarter.
"It's a little surprising being up by 40," Brand said. "Being up by 20-plus, we wanted to really step on them and get ready for the real season. I'm glad we were able to do that."
Not that the Wizards offered even a modicum of resistance.
They were wretched from the start.
They opened the game by making just 5 of 20 field goals in the first quarter on the way to making just 26 of 79 on the night. This compared to the almost 51 percent (39 of 77) that the Sixers made.
Forward Andray Blatche was the only Washington player to reach double figures, finishing with a team-high 18 points on 5-for-11 shooting. Last year's No. 1 pick, guard John Wall, was sloppy, finishing with almost as many turnovers (six) as points (eight).
The teams will play again Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center in what will be the last preseason game for both teams. Both teams begin the regular season on Dec. 26.
However, the difference is the Sixers will begin their season with five games on the road. Their first week of the season is perhaps more harrowing than that of any other team.
"We only have two games as a tune-up," Brand said. "That's why we've got to take [Tuesday's game] as seriously as we did tonight. We have to continue to be sharp and execute."
The Sixers did not bring their entire preseason roster, leaving behind guard Antonio Anderson and centers Mike Tisdale and Dwayne Jones. Those three will likely rejoin the team on Sunday for a morning practice and for a team scrimmage - free to the public - Sunday at the Palestra.