Somehow, the Wizards could find themselves in a four-way tie for third place in the Eastern Conference after Monday's win vs. the Philadelphia 76ers at Verizon Center.
The Wizards (20-20) reached .500 for the fourth time this season. The Toronto Raptors lost Monday and have the same record. The Atlanta Hawks are 20-19 but play the Miami Heat later and the Chicago Bulls (19-20) have a matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers on tap.
The Wizards led by as many as 14 points in the first half, withstood a 12-2 run and were able to put away the 76ers (13-28) for the second time in three meetings.
Bradley Beal, who missed 12 of 14 shots in Saturday's loss to the Detroit Pistons, regained his shooting touch. He scored 13 of his team-high 22 points in the first half and had nine rebunds, tied a career-high with eight assists and had a blocked shot. Marcin Gortat had 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting and a team-high 11 rebounds. John Wall had 14 points and five assists, Trevor Ariza 13 though he shot just 4-for-12 and Kevin Seraphin led all bench scorers with 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting.
Philadelphia was sparked by rookie Michael Carter-Williams' game-high 31 points on 13-for-22 shooting
Turning point: After the Sixers went on a run to make it a two-possession game at 70-66 in the third quarter, the Wizards responded with a 16-6 run to go into the fourth ahead 86-73.
Key stats: The Wizards had a season-high 12 blocks, led by Gortat with four, and made 35 trips to the free-throw line. They made 28.
Lineup changes: Trevor Booker (sprained left ankle) didn't dress and rookie Glen Rice was optioned to the D-League's Iowa Energy before the game. Otto Porter (four minutes) and Chris Singleton (three) did play but didn't last long as the Wizards blew a 21-point lead that was cut to 100-92 late in the fourth quarter. Eric Maynor did not get off the bench.
From the locker room: "This is a team that puts their head down and drives, points in the paint (with) 54 points. They're a team that tries to beat you off the drive. We protected the rim and got some blocks and got us out in transition. We had five turnovers (in the first half). The only time we get in trouble is when we turn the ball over." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman
"Something about those first five minutes we don't come out and play with a lot of sense of urgency or energy and it always gets us down." -- Wall on the slow start to the third quarter
"We took them out of their comfort zone. We know they like to get up and down, play in the paint, get to the line a lot and we slowed them down but cutting out the paint and making them take longer twos and rebounding the ball." -- Ariza on key to holding off Sixers in the third
"The crucial thing today was that we were really physical. We were fast. We played together and we had fun. And I think that was the biggest thing for us in the third quarter, to build that lead and go into the fourth quarter with a lot of room." -- Gortat
"He's long. He's able to get in the lane. He really wasn't making many jump shots because he was able to get in the lane and get up around the basket and he's a pretty good finisher for his size. He didn't win the game for them but he definitely showed he can score the ball." -- Wizards guard Garrett Temple on Carter-Williams
"That's a hard team. I respect the route that I sort of see from afar that they're progressing to. They've been playing really good basketball and I think Randy does a hell of a job with them and John Wall is growing into a really elite player. So to come in here and almost be in position (to win), you leave with your head high." -- Sixers coach Brett Brown
Around the bend: The Wizards will practice Tuesday before Wednesday's game vs. the Boston Celtics at Verizon Center (CSN, 7 p.m. ET).