Flip Saunders was fired Tuesday as coach of the NBA-worst Washington Wizards and replaced by assistant Randy Wittman, who has the job for the rest of the season.


The Wizards fell to 2-15 this season, including 0-7 on the road, with a 20-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. Washington’s next game is at home Wednesday against the Charlotte Bobcats.


“We felt the team had become unresponsive, and we will look to Randy to provide a different voice and a change in philosophy moving forward,” Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement released by the team. “We have been transparent in how we would evaluate our team this season and we were disappointed in the lack of development of our players at this point in our rebuilding plan.”


Saunders was in his third season with the Wizards, going 51-130. When he was hired, the roster featured All-Stars Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler, but the franchise is now rebuilding around point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft.


Before joining the Wizards, Saunders coached 13 NBA seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons, reaching the conference finals a total of four times.


He was hired by Washington in April 2009, and given a four-year contract.


Deng hopes rest will heal


Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng hopes he won’t need surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist. Deng was injured in the fourth quarter Saturday against Charlotte and figures to miss at least a few more games after sitting out Monday’s win over the New Jersey Nets. He said the wrist is still sore, but the pain has eased “a lot” the past few days.


Bobcats’ Augustin out


The Charlotte Bobcats announced guard D.J. Augustin is expected to miss the next four games with a right toe injury. Augustin saw Charlotte orthopedist Bob Anderson on Tuesday and the diagnosis confirmed an inflammatory condition of the sesmoid bones that lie in the flexor tendons on Augustin’s right big toe.


Nets forward has surgery


New Jersey Nets forward Damion James will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to replace a screw in his right foot. Nets General Manager Billy King announced Tuesday that James had the surgery earlier in the day at University Health Center in Indianapolis. Dr. David Porter replaced the screw in James’ fifth metatarsal.