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Ariza scores 40 as Wizards rout Sixers
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Trevor Ariza scored a career-high 40 points and the Washington Wizards beat the Philadelphia 76ers 122-103 Saturday on a night the home team retired the number of one of its all-time greats.
Ariza went 8-for-12 on 3-pointers and added a game-high four steals for the Wizards, who have won six straight. Martell Webster and John Wall scored 17 apiece, with Wall adding 16 assists, and Marcin Gortat went for 13 points and 14 rebounds.
The Sixers retired Allen Iverson's No. 3 in a halftime ceremony, sending his banner into the rafters to rest alongside the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Charles Barkley and Julius Erving.
"He just told me to keep working. Just go out there and play hard," said Michael Carter-Williams about what words of wisdom he received from Iverson.
Tony Wroten scored 19 off the bench to lead Philadelphia, Thaddeus Young had 17 points and Michael Carter-Williams added 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the 76ers, who have lost 13 straight.
"All the time, I tell them that. This is the truth if we don't play better transition defense, if we don't share the ball then we got some problems, that's a fact." said Sixers head coach Brett Brown when asked whether he thought his team could win another game this season.
The Wizards jumped out to a 24-9 lead in the first quarter on the strength of five 3s by Ariza and led 41-28 after the first.
Philadelphia scored nine straight to pull within four with 8:41 left in the first half, but Washington went on a 10-4 run for a 74-62 lead at the break, setting a team record for points in a half.
The Sixers came as close as eight points with 5:11 left in the third quarter but did not manage to come any closer the rest of the way. The Wizards led by as many as 25 in the final quarter.
Iverson played his first 10-plus NBA seasons with Philadelphia, winning four scoring titles, then returned for 25 games in 2009-10 after spending time with Denver, Detroit and Memphis.
The 11-time All-Star won the league's MVP award in 2001, leading the Sixers to the NBA Finals, where they handed the Lakers their only playoff loss in Game 1.
On hand for the festivities were former Sixers including Erving, Moses Malone, Dikembe Mutombo and Theo Ratliff as well as Gary Payton and former Sixers president Pat Croce. Former Sixers coach Larry Brown taped a message that was played during the ceremony.
Iverson was presented with an oil painting of himself, a championship belt with an engraving of his likeness in Sixers attire that reads, "Pound for Pound One of the Greatest," and also received a bass-fishing boat fittingly named "The Answer."
Iverson was the eighth Sixers player to have his number sent into the rafters ... Ariza's 24 points in the first quarter were a record for a Sixers opponent ... Philadelphia plays at Orlando on Sunday ... The Wizards host Memphis on Monday.
03/02 00:29:54 ET
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