Looking for more of a contest against a Washington Wizards team they had blown out just four days earlier, the 76ers got just that Tuesday night in their first and only home preseason game, a 101-94 victory at the Wells Fargo Center.
In a game that was close for the better part of the evening, Jrue Holiday, whom the Sixers will look to often to take over games late, delivered.
His three-pointer with 2 minutes, 13 seconds to go put the Sixers ahead, 90-88. He then fed rookie center Nikola Vucevic for a layup. And with a little more than a minute to play, he sank another three-pointer to give the Sixers a 95-88 advantage.
After a basket from Washington's JaVale McGee, Holiday sank two more free throws for a 97-90 lead to ice the victory with 38.5 seconds to play.
While the Sixers improved to 2-0, coach Doug Collins was not happy with the effort he saw from his team for a litany of reasons.
Collins wants the Sixers getting about 35 deflections per game rather than the 11 they recorded Tuesday night. He was disappointed that the Wizards collected 21 offensive rebounds, and the 20 turnovers the Sixers committed didn't sit well with him, either.
"I knew this was coming," Collins said. "We were able to get away with it tonight and win. Now, we're going out on the road. We've got five games before we come back here and get our first home game. I thought Jrue finished strong. We had some guys do some good things, but we've got to do much better."
Holiday led the Sixers with 24 points, six assists, and five turnovers. He was one of six Sixers to finish the game in double figures. Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, and Andre Iguodala each added 13 points.
Washington, which dropped both of its preseason games to the Sixers, was led by McGee with 20 points. Jordan Crawford added 18 points and John Wall finished with 17.
The Sixers will open the regular season playing four games in six nights, beginning the day after Christmas at Portland. They will play at Phoenix two days later, get another day off, then close the trip with back-to-back games at Utah and Golden State. They play a game at New Orleans in the first week of January, and then they finally play their home opener against Detroit, 11 days after the season starts, on Jan. 6.
Collins wasn't the only one disappointed with the way the team played. He acknowledged that getting it out of the way as the season begins three time zones away is crucial.
"You have those kinds of games, but I'm glad we got it out of the way in the preseason," Holiday said. "One thing we have to realize is that we can't start out slow. We need a good start. That's what we're focusing on."
Welcome home. It was announced Tuesday that former Overbrook High School and Drexel University star Malik Rose will join the Comcast SportsNet telecasts during the regular season. Rose, who won a pair of championships with the San Antonio Spurs during his NBA career, joins Marc Zumoff and Meredith Marakovits on the Sixers' broadcast team.
Rose has worked for the Madison Square Garden Network as a pregame analyst, and in 2011 he filled in as a color commentator on Spurs telecasts.