Spencer Hawes, Dorell Wright power 76ers past Nuggets
Philadelphia, PA, United States (4E Sports) – Spencer Hawes and Dorell Wright came off the bench and sparked Philadelphia’s first-half breakaway as the 76ers opened the season with an 84-75 victory over the Denver Nuggets Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center.
Showing his uncanny shooting deft from the outside, the 7-1 Hawes scored 12 of his game-high 16 points in the opening half, including two three-pointers, while Wright poured in nine of his 14 in the second quarter to turn a close 25-22 lead into a 46-38 cushion at the break.
Aside from his display of offensive prowess, Hawes also had 12 caroms and five blocked shots while Jrue Holiday added 14 points and 11 assists. Thaddeus Young chipped in 13 and veteran Jason Richardson contributed 10 for the 76ers, who won despite the absence of All-Star center Andrew Bynum.
Bynum, who was acquired by the 76ers in a four-team trade with the Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers, is out with a bone bruise on his right knee.
A day after signing an $18 million, four-year extension, Ty Lawson topscored for the Nuggets with 16 points and issued seven assists while former 76er Andre Iguodala added 11.
Iguodala, who played for the 76ers for eight years, landed with the Nuggets after the four-team trade, shot five-for13 and had four turnovers against his former team.
Backup playmaker Andre Miller added 10 points and seven assists off the bench as Denver sorely missed the scoring of Danilo Gallinari, who was sidelined with an ankle injury. Gallinari averaged 14.6 points last season.
In the third quarter, the 76ers grabbed a 57-44 lead after Lavoy Allen’s basket before the Nuggets closed to within 52-59 after a rebound and putback by JaVale Mcgee.
However, the 76ers closed with a short 6-0 burst that restored a 13-point lead at the start of the final period.
The 76ers took their biggest lead, 68-54, but Lawson, Evan Fournier and Corey Brewer brought the Nuggets to within 71-70 with less than five minutes in the game.
But Holiday completed a three-point play and Hawes added two foul shots and a jumper to restore order.