Brand shines in DiLeo's dominating debut

December 13, 2008 7:27:16 PM PST
Elton Brand scored a season-high 27 points, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 104-89 victory over the struggling Washington Wizards on Saturday night in Tony DiLeo's coaching debut. Lou Williams added 15 points, Thaddeus Young and Andre Iguodala each had 14, and Willie Green scored 13 for the Sixers, who snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 10-14.

Maurice Cheeks didn't receive that type of balance on a consistent basis and was subsequently fired earlier Saturday as coach of the Sixers, who were slumping badly a season after making the playoffs. DiLeo, the team's assistant general manager, was appointed coach for rest of the season.

"I felt we were not progressing the way we had wanted to progress," Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski said before the game. "I didn't feel on the floor we were executing the philosophy we wanted to have as Sixers basketball."

The Sixers had lost their previous five home games. Samuel Dalembert pulled down 17 rebounds and Andre Miller had a season-high 12 assists.

Antawn Jamison scored 17 points, Mike James and DeShawn Stevenson added 16 apiece and Caron Butler had 15 for the Wizards (4-17), who are in last place in the Southeast Division. The Wizards are 1-8 on the road.

DiLeo has spent 19 seasons with the 76ers. He was promoted to senior vice president and assistant general manager in 2003.

He has extensive experience in international basketball as both a player and a coach and had a brief stint as an NBA assistant in the early 1990s, but hadn't been in a huddle in the league in more than a decade.

When DiLeo was announced in pregame introductions, he received a smattering of boos from the crowd.

The Sixers were up 79-65 after the third quarter and were never seriously challenged in the fourth. Washington never got within single digits the rest of the way.

Philadelphia led by as many as 14 points in the first half and held a 51-40 advantage at halftime.

Game notes

Williams, who was a game-time decision because of food poisoning, came off the bench early in the first quarter. ... The Wizards missed eight straight field goals in the second quarter. ... The Sixers outrebounded Washington 46-37.


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