Evans, Williams lead Nets to 109-89 win over 76ers
PHILADELPHIA— P.J. Carlesimo had little patience for questions about Andray Blatche before the Brooklyn Nets routed the Philadelphia 76ers.
“He’s been playing well and I expect him to play well today,” he said.
Blatche did play well, scoring 20 points hours after he was questioned by Philadelphia police as part of a sexual assault investigation at an upscale hotel. He helped the Nets improve to 6-1 under Carlesimo with a 109-89 win over the 76ers on Tuesday night.
Blatche didn’t make himself available to the media at the Wells Fargo Center.
Blatche, who wasn’t charged, wrote about the incident on Twitter: “Im ok and I didn’t do anything jus was n the area when it happened.” Blatche later took down the tweet.
“We’ve had to deal with some adversity the last couple of weeks,” guard Deron Williams said. “But we’re a resilient group. We stick together as a team and we did that tonight.”
Blatche didn’t look at all affected by the police investigation. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said Blatche was among the witnesses interviewed by police Tuesday. Ramsey told reporters that preliminary findings of the investigation show Blatche wasn’t involved.
Officer Jillian Russell said the possible assault reportedly happened around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday in a room at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Police told WCAU-TV that a 21-year-old woman was taken from the hotel to a hospital.
Photographers snapped photos of Blatche as he left the Four Seasons and as he arrived at the arena.
“NBA players are resilient,” said Carlesimo, who still has an interim tag. “That is one of their traits. They come to play.”
Reggie Evans grabbed a career-high 23 rebounds, and Williams scored 22 points for the Nets.
Evans dominated on the glass, outrebounding the undersized Sixers 23-22 through three quarters. Evans had 22 rebounds against Seattle in 2006.
Up by one at halftime, the Nets routed the Sixers in the third. Joe Johnson, who scored 15 points, and Gerald Wallace each hit 3-pointers during a game-changing 16-2 run to open the quarter. The Nets made 14 of 19 shots in the third to stretch the lead to 23 points.
Evans, a former Sixers player, fell six rebounds shy of the NBA season high of 29, set by Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic.
The Sixers traded Vucevic after his rookie season to the Magic as part of the four-team deal that sent Andrew Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers to Philadelphia. The Sixers were counting on Bynum to become the dominant center in the East and lead them deep into the postseason, but he has yet to play this season because of bone bruises on his knees. There’s no date for a possible return. Without Bynum, the Sixers are getting outrebounded this season and entered the game ninth in the East.
Evans had 16 rebounds (12 defensive) by halftime, three fewer than Philadelphia’s total. He had 20 rebounds with 6:54 left in the third, one more than the Sixers. He finished with 17 defensive rebounds, but scored only two points.
“It don’t matter to me about scoring,” Evans said. “We’ve got guys in here that can go out and score 100 points every night. When I score, it’s a bonus. I just want to go out, do what I do, and get wins.”
Jrue Holiday scored 19 points and Spencer Hawes had 14 for the Sixers, who stumbled home from a 2-6 trip and on a three-game losing streak.
Philadelphia shot 50 percent in the first half and trailed only 48-47 at the break, but the Sixers never got into a groove in the second half and were booed off the court to end the third quarter.
Most of the 16,167 fans headed to the exits in the fourth. The few that remained at the end saw the Sixers lose their third straight game by at least 20 points. The Sixers went straight to the plane for their game Wednesday night in Toronto.
There was another huge disparity at the free-throw line between the Sixers and the Nets. Brooklyn was 21 of 30 from the line; 76ers were 6 of 10. Over the last 15 games, opponents are averaging 19.2 free throws made, while the Sixers are averaging only 14.7 free-throw attempts.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Philadelphia coach Doug Collins said.
Collins refused to discuss the situation further, saying he didn’t want to get fined. The suggestion was, the Sixers aren’t getting calls from the officials.
Evan Turner, who didn’t go to the line in 36 minutes, said the Sixers did their part to drive the paint and draw fouls.
“For the past few years, we haven’t really gotten calls,” he said. “That’s not on us anymore. Anybody can make it. We talk about it. We get to the paint. We get hit. We get slapped … You can’t worry about what you can’t control.”
Notes: Actor Mark Wahlberg was at the game. … Philadelphia Flyers Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Matt Read received a huge ovation when they were introduced to the crowd. … The Sixers signed G Maalik Wayns to a 10-day contract. … Nets F Kris Humphries played after missing two games because of a sprained left ankle. … The Nets are 10-2 when scoring over 100 points.
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