Wright, Holiday combine to get 76ers win over Kings

Associated Press
3/25/2013 12:08:29 AM
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- After opening the New Year with a road victory against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Philadelphia 76ers could not imagine going the next 3 1/2 months without another win.

But that's just what happened to the Sixers, who had to wait 82 days and endure 15 straight losses before winning again away from home.

Dorell Wright hit six 3-pointers and scored 22 points, Jrue Holiday added 21 and the 76ers snapped their longest road losing streak in over 25 years with a 117-103 win over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night.

Philadelphia centre Spencer Hawes knew it was a long time between road wins. But 82 days? He had no idea.

"That's like a summer break when you were in grade school," Hawes said. "We thought we had the last game (Friday against Denver). It's nice to finally get this out of the way."

Philadelphia's road losing streak was its longest since the club dropped 20 in a row from Dec. 28, 1987-March 4, 1988.

It was not only a rare road victory, it was also a rare show of offensive explosiveness for the Sixers, who entered the game last in the NBA with an average of just under 93 points a game.

The Sixers had 91 points entering the fourth quarter and shot 49 per cent en route to a season-high point total in beating the Kings for the fifth straight time in Sacramento.

Lavoy Allen had a career-high 20 points and seven rebounds for the Sixers. Damien Wilkins scored 17 points, Hawes had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Thaddeus Young had 14 points.

It helped Philadelphia mentally knowing that the Kings allow the most points per game in the NBA. Sacramento also leads the league in scoring since the All-Star break.

"They don't want to move on defence; they want to get out and run and shoot the ball as quick as they can," said Wilkins, who had six of Philadelphia's 31 assists. "We did a good job of moving the ball and finding the open man for good shots."

Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points, Marcus Thornton added 22 and Tyreke Evans had 19 points and eight assists for the Kings, who had their three-game home win streak snapped. Patrick Patterson chipped in 12 points.

"I think we got down, our shots were not falling, and then we started playing one-on-one and hero ball to get us back into it," Kings forward John Salmons said. "We wanted to cut a 15-point lead with one shot."

Kings centre DeMarcus Cousins had five fouls by the midway point of the third quarter and finished with eight points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes.

It was a great overall game for Holiday, who also had 10 rebounds, seven assists and five steals. He was especially effective after shooting 4 of 11 in the opening half.

"We moved the ball around and everybody got good shots," said Wright, who made 6 of 10 from 3-point range. "We just kept fighting. There is a lot of energy in this building. It's a good place to play."

It got loud every time Hawes touched the ball. Hawes, a former King, was booed loudly in pre-game introductions and seemingly every time he did anything, good or bad. Hawes is from Seattle and has been a big proponent of the Kings relocating to his hometown.

"They (Kings fans) were telling me on Twitter all day they would be doing this," Hawes said. "So it was no surprise. But that's the kind of stuff that gets me going."

Hawes responded right away to the booing, hitting the game's first basket, an 18-foot jumper. He made 7 of 13 shots and added three assists and one blocked shot.

"I have mixed feelings about the Kings moving," Hawes said. "But I've made my intentions clear where I stand. Seattle is where I'm from and I would love to see them get a team."

Following the Sixers' early spurt in the fourth, the Kings could never get the lead under double digits. After getting to within 109-96, Young had a tip-in for a basket and followed with a layup to give Philadelphia a 113-96 lead with 2:42 remaining.

Ahead by nine to start the fourth quarter, Wilkins made a 3-pointer that ignited a 14-2 run culminating with a three-point play by Wilkins at the 8:23 mark that put Philadelphia in front 105-84.

"They ran their stuff and they got great shots," Evans said. "They outrebounded us, got second chances and we couldn't find the basket after that."

The Sixers continually hit from the perimeter in the third quarter when they outscored the Kings 33-24. Holiday scored eight points to help Philadelphia, which made 15 of 24 shots to take a 91-82 lead into the fourth.

Wright enjoyed a big first half with 16 points and was instrumental in the Sixers rallying from a nine-point deficit after one quarter to tie the game at 58 by intermission. Wright had four 3-pointers in the second quarter when he scored 13 points.

Evans had 12 of his 14 first-half points in the opening quarter. Thornton had 12 points in the second quarter for the Kings, who were outscored 36-27.

Sacramento city officials announced Saturday they have a term sheet for a $447 million downtown arena. The proposed arena deal will go before the city council on Tuesday. That would allow Sacramento to pitch its plan April 3 to the NBA in New York.

A Sacramento group, that includes Mark Mastrov, Ron Burkle and Vivek Ranadive, wants to buy the team from the Maloof family and keep it in Sacramento, where the franchise has been since 1985.

Hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer head up a Seattle group that has signed a contract to purchase the Kings from the Maloofs and plans to move the team to Seattle for next season.

Notes: Philadelphia outrebounded the Kings 48-37. ... Cousins and Young earned technical fouls in the second quarter. ... The game, which was billed as "Here We Buy," was a grassroots effort by fans to show support for the Kings. Attendance was 14,647. ... The Sixers conclude a four-game road trip Monday in Utah. Philadelphia will play nine of its final 13 games on the road. ... Philadelphia's reserves shot 10 of 16 in the first half and had 30 points.

Jrue Holiday  (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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