After shooting 6 of 29 from the field over his past two games, Michael Carter-Williams scored 31 points on Monday but the Sixers still fell to the Wizards, 107-99. (AP)
WASHINGTON -- Michael Carter-Williams came back with a vengeance on Monday afternoon. He scored 15 of his game-high 31 points in the second quarter. The rookie took 22 shots, as he did on Saturday night, only he made 13 this time instead of just five.
Unfortunately, despite his heroic efforts, the Sixers lost to the Wizards at the Verizon Center, 107-99, dropping their record to 13-28 at the halfway point of their season (see Instant Replay).
“I was just trying to make plays and do anything for us to try and stay in the game,” Carter-Williams said. “I was trying to help us make a late comeback and find my teammates out there and be patient and that just led to some open looks.”
Carter-Williams had a team-high five assists, but it was his constant effort to attack the basket that stood out. In addition to his 22 field goal attempts, he also had eight free throw attempts. Unfortunately, he made just four but he was aggressive.
“He felt the need to take the game and try to put us back in a position where we could inch our way back in it and he did,” Brett Brown said. “Always there is a balance and sometimes maybe he is trying to do too much and other times others aren’t as involved as you hoped.
“But for the most part I think he was trying to get his teammates involved. We struggled finding ways to score but he had a hell of a game.”
Carter-Williams shot 59 percent from the floor -- the rest of the team shot a combined 36 percent.
“I was trying to get to the hoop and get some easy ones,” Carter-Williams said of his approach after shooting 6 of 29 from the field the previous two games. “And I was trying to get to the line a little bit. Definitely my concentration was there, but that needs to be more consistent.”
Given how Carter-Williams was scoring and the fact that the Sixers cut the Wizards' 21-point lead to eight points with 2:26 to play, it was noticeable that MCW remained on the bench after being subbed for with 4:30 to play.
“I did. I really did,” Brown said when asked if he considered putting Carter-Williams back in. “I just felt that group was going OK and Lorenzo [Brown] was doing OK and in my heart of hearts, I wasn’t quite sure if we were going to be able to get it over the hump. And I just like that team’s energy. But I could have flipped a coin and gone either way.”
Many times, Brown tries to reward guys who got you there, but MCW had done his part to jump-start the Sixers' 13-0 fourth-quarter run that made it a game again.
“Michael was definitely a part of that and that’s why that decision wasn’t as black and white as it normally is for me,” Brown said. “Easily you could have justified bringing him back in at that stage and really try to make a run for it quite easily. But it was a gut feel.”
Carter-Williams said he had no problem with Brown’s decision to ride the game out with the five players he did.
“I trust whatever Coach does,” Carter-Williams said. “That group was rolling and when a group is rolling you don’t want to break that. When they put their starters back in, we still made a bit of a run."
Spencer Hawes fired a three-pointer with 2:51 to play that would have cut Washington’s lead to seven, but it didn't go down.
“We were one three away," Carter-Williams said. "Spencer's three easily could have gone in. I trust what Coach does at the end of the game.”