PHILADELPHIA — Jrue Holiday made a strong statement that he's ready for those tense moments in the fourth quarter when the NBA regular season begins this weekend.
The second-year Philadelphia 76ers guard scored 24 points, including 15 in the last 5:35, to propel the Sixers to a 101-94 preseason victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
"Tonight was my turn," Holiday said. "The first game we played well, the second game we didn't play so well. It was just a preseason game, but I felt really comfortable. My first year, in games like this, I didn't see the ball. It was good my teammates and coaches trust me with the ball."
Evan Turner, Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young each scored 13 for the Sixers.
JaVale McGee led Washington with 20 points, 12 in the fourth quarter, and Jordan Crawford added 18. John Wall finished with 17 and did not play in the fourth.
"I'm really happy that we played that team tonight," Sixers coach Doug Collins said. "We had a nice finish, but there were some disturbing things that I knew were coming.
"We had only 11 deflections defensively, and we want to get 35 a night. That showed the activity of our defense, though we did pick up in the second half. We gave them 21 offensive rebounds, and we turned it over 20 times. The three things we said coming in is to be active defensively, defensive rebounds and take care of the ball. We were able to get away with it tonight and win, but our guys know we have to play much better."
The Wizards took an 88-87 lead with 2:45 to play on a pair of free throws by McGee. Holiday then hit two 3-pointers, sandwiched around a hook shot by Nikola Vucevic, to give the Sixers a 95-88 edge with 1:09 left. The fourth quarter featured nine lead changes.
Washington took a 52-47 lead into halftime after Philadelphia's Nikola Vucevic made a 3 at the buzzer.
The Wizards had a 10-point advantage late in the half, behind Wall's 13 points.
Washington coach Flip Saunders saw a much better effort than he did last Friday against Philadelphia, which routed the Wizards 103-78 and led by as many as 40 in that game.
"Yes, we played a lot better," Saunders said. "We played the younger guys over the last 6, 7 minutes to see what they could do. Overall, I was pleased. We were definitely solid most of the night. Our main group played well together. I like the way our guys were looking for each other." -- (AP)