Joined: Nov 26, 2003
Location: Somewhere over the Rainbow
|Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:22 am Post subject: Sixers vs. Wizards
|Philadelphia 113, Washington 88
Sixers are Ford Tough in New Coach’s Debut
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 11 (Ticker) -- Maybe it was the absence of Randy Ayers. Maybe it was the presence of the Washington Wizards. But the Philadelphia 76ers looked like a new team under new coach Chris Ford.
Ford won his debut with the 76ers, who rode 25 points from Allen Iverson and an energetic effort to a 113-88 victory over the Wizards.
On Tuesday, the Sixers fired Ayers, who was 21-31 in his first season but may have taken too much blame for a lethargic team that displayed little of its trademark spirit. Ford, an assistant to Ayers with 659 games as an NBA coach on his resume, was elevated in hope of reviving the team's playoff possibilities.
Having lost 11 of their last 14 games, the Sixers seemed to respond, displaying the hustle and energy that had disappeared over the last month. They avoided the slow start that has plagued them this season and quickly turned the game into a rout.
Iverson was a catalyst as he made three steals and got out in transition. But the team also got a lift from reserve center Zendon Hamilton, whose energy resulted in a career-high 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Philadelphia also may have benefited from Washington looking ahead to the All-Star break. It certainly took advantage of the absence of injured Wizards guard Larry Hughes, who burned his former team for 43 points in a win January 10.