Posted April 12, 2013 on AP on Fox
Jrue Holiday scored 22 points, and the Philadelphia 76ers found enough motivation to put the Washington Wizards' pursuit of ninth place to rest for good Friday night, pulling away in the second half for a 97-86 victory. Thaddeus Young added 18 points and 13 points for the 76ers, who had played a pair of stinkers since being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but handled the Wizards, who had made catching Philadelphia a very public goal to make up for a 4-28 start. John Wall scored 24 points for the Wizards, who have lost four straight and trail the 76ers by 3 1/2 games with two to play in the race - if it can really be called that - for top non-playoff team in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers have been a disinterested competitor for the Wizards, and they still could be caught by the 10th-place Toronto Raptors. Asked before the game if the tussle for ninth was on his radar, Philadelphia coach Doug Collins shrugged and said: ''You know, ninth, 10th - I mean, that's out of the playoffs.'' The 76ers had lost three straight, including two by an average of 22 points since their playoff hopes ended, and Collins' future with the organization is in question. ''When you're mathematically eliminated,'' Collins said before the game, ''it's tough to get guys playing at the highest of levels. ... It's human nature: You're fighting, you're fighting, you're fighting, and all of a sudden it's like, `We're out of the playoffs.''' Nevertheless, Holiday bounced back after a pair of bad games and made 8 of 17 shots and also had seven assists. Five 76ers scored in double figures, but Evan Turner didn't join in the fun, however, going 0 for 11 from the field. The Wizards had been strong at home since Wall returned from a knee injury. They finished 22-19 at the Verizon Center, including 18-6 with Wall. Washington started well Friday, with assists on their first eight field goals, including a no-look, nonchalant pass from Nene to Wall for a layup. Wall also dribbled down the clock and maneuvered through traffic for a falling-down layup at the end of the first quarter. No play exemplified the 76ers' end-of-season funk better than Dorell Wright's 3-point attempt late in the first quarter. The ball slipped out of his hands and went backward with no one touching it, landing in the front row of seats some 30 feet from the basket. But, after the Wizards built a 13-point lead in the second quarter, the 76ers closed the half with a 20-8 run to make it a one-point game at the break. Arnett Moultrie's follow dunk early in the fourth quarter pushed the 76ers' lead into double digits, and the Wizards didn't get closer than seven the rest of the way. Notes: Philadelphia G Nick Young, a first-round draft pick by the Wizards in 2007, was booed when he entered the game for the first time as a visiting player at the Verizon Center. The reception amused Young so much that he covered his mouth with his hand to control his laughter. ... The Wizards played without Martell Webster (abdominal strain) and Trevor Ariza (sore left knee). ... Collins on his status with the 76ers: ''I've told you all along, I'm not the topic of conversation. We're going to focus on the games, and we're going to play those. We'll sit down at the end of the season, I've always done. I've got a wonderful relationship with (owner) Josh Harris, and we will discuss what we need to do next year.'' --- Follow Joseph White on Twitter:

Sixers organization hoping Doug Collins decides not to return next season?

The Philadelphia 76′ers season didn’t turn out as planned. The absence of their key centerpiece for this season, Andrew Bynum, caused a glitch the team never recovered from. Months ago I shared with you that I was told that even before Bynum discovered he had to have additional surgery, he wasn’t too interested in playing for Sixers head coach Doug Collins. I was also told...

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The big story for most of the Philadelphia 76ers 2012-2013 season has been if or when Sixers fans would see Andrew Bynum on the court. The story has shifted over the past week or so and now revolves around the future of head coach Doug Collins. Many believe that Collins needs to go. Several reports have said that the organization wants to him to resign. The Sixers will not extend...

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The marriage between the Philadelphia 76ers and its head coach and city legend, Doug Collins appears to be headed towards an awkward divorce. Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Ford is reporting from various league sources that 76ers brass would prefer Collins not return for the 2013-2014 season, and they would prefer he simply quits or retires so they don’t have to pay him. Collins...

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