for this game

Williams leads Sixers over Wizards without Brand

Dec 20, 2008 - 4:58 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Elton Brand wasn't missed on Friday.

Instead of moping about Brand's dislocated shoulder, which will cost him a month, the Philadelphia 76ers used Louis Williams' career-high 26 points to carry them to their third straight win, a 109-103 triumph over the Washington Wizards.

On Wednesday, Brand - who signed a five-year, $80 million contract in the offseason - injured his shoulder in a win against Milwaukee.

Without his 15.9 points and 9.8 rebounds, the Sixers turned to others.

Thaddeus Young started in place of Brand at power forward and scored 18 points, Andre Iguodala also added 18 and rookie Marreese Speights netted a career-high 17.

It was Williams - who tied his career high with 25 against the Bucks - who starred. He scored 18 points in the first half and was boiling hot, scoring 16 straight points at one point.

Williams didn't start, but the 22-year-old fourth-year player was into the game from the bench.

"Before I was even in the game, every shot these guys made, I was screaming and hollering. I was just very animated," Williams said.

Then he went in, and the team that focused on the low-post play with Brand began to run.

"When you lose a guy of his caliber, everybody has to step in and create havoc," Williams said.

"That's what we try and do - create a little havoc. Everybody knows we're a running team and, in order to run, we have to create a little havoc."

It was a taut game. There were 18 lead changes and 16 ties. Philadelphia didn't take its decisive lead until Iguodala hit two free throws with 2:15 to play.

Andray Blatche tried a two-pointer from the corner with just 25 seconds to play, but it bounced away. Iguodala hit two more free throws with 16.5 seconds to play to make it 105-101.

It was the third straight win for Tony DiLeo - who replaced Maurice Cheeks as Philadelphia's coach last Saturday - his second against Washington.

"One person couldn't do it, so collectively we had to do it," DiLeo said.

DiLeo has a big supporter in Williams, who is getting more minutes under the interim coach.

"Guys are playing a little bit more freer under Tony," Williams said. "That's just the style of coach he is. He lays his principles out and rolls the balls out and tells us to go out and play."

The Wizards (4-20), who lost for the fifth straight time, dropped to 3-10 under their own new coach, Ed Tapscott, who replaced Eddie Jordan on November 24.

"This game is a similar story to previous games," Tapscott said. "We just couldn't get it done in the fourth quarter."

Tapscott is frustrated by the Wizards' unwillingness to drive.

"You don't have to take jump shots. You can drive the ball," Tapscott said.

In the fourth, the Sixers took a 95-93 lead on Williams' dunk with 6:56 to play. The dunk gave Williams his career-high total. In his previous game, he tied his career best with 25.

Speights, the rookie from Florida who has received extra minutes with Brand's injury, also had a career high with 17 points.

"We've got a man down," Speights said. "I feel like it's an opportunity for me."

Antawn Jamison played despite a strained right thumb he suffered in Washington's loss in Detroit on Wednesday. He led Washington with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

Caron Butler scored 20 points, but six turnovers - three of them in the fourth quarter when the Wizards were outscored, 25-17.

"It's tough because they did a great job of loading up on defense," Butler said. "We just fell a little short on the defensive end."