Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images
Wizards end Sixers' streak, 109-94
Photos | Box Score
The Sixers rolled into the nation's capital on Sunday night looking to win their eighth straight game, but the Wizards had a different idea. Washington shot 54.4% from the field and held the Sixers to 36.0% shooting on the night en route to a 109-94 win.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 24 points and eight assists, while Otto Porter Jr. had one of his most efficient games of the season with 23 points and seven rebounds. The Wizards had 35 assists on 43 made field goals, building on their NBA-high assist rate since January 25. Tomas Satoransky dished out 10 of those assists to go with his seven points and seven rebounds. Washington also won the rebounding battle 48-43 and the fast break 16-14.
In the last two games between these two teams, the Sixers have gotten off to red hot starts. Scott Brooks emphasized before the game that the Wizards would need to get going from the get-go, and did so by making 6-of-8 field goals to start the game.
While Markieff Morris was in foul trouble early on, Kelly Oubre Jr. came into the game and scored eight points on a perfect 3-for-3 from the field in the opening period. Washington led 30-28 after one by holding Philadelphia to 40.0% shooting, despite five turnovers for nine Sixers points.
Oubre gave the Wizards a huge boost in the first half, scoring 16 of his 19 points and blocking three shots in the first 24 minutes. His energy and defense especially gave the Wizards a necessary spark, locking down Ben Simmons in the first half.
“He’s just stepping up big for us," Porter said of Oubre. "He’s letting out his shot, he’s being aggressive offensively and defensively. That’s what K.O. does. We need him every night to do that.”
Along with Oubre, the second quarter belonged to Porter, who scored 14 points on a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor. Porter would finish with 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting and a team-high +17 on the night. He actually beat the buzzer four times in the second quarter, thrice the shot clock and once the halftime buzzer.
As a team, Washington made 15-of-24 field goals and held the Sixers to 8-of-23 from the field. Philadelphia had six turnovers for 12 Wizards points in the second, as Oubre (16 points), Porter (16), and Beal (12) had big first halves. The Wizards won the second quarter 37-20 and led 67-48 at the half.
The Sixers' struggles from the field continued after the half. The Wizards stayed hot to open up as much as a 23-point lead in the third quarter. Marcin Gortat led the Wizards with seven points in the third, as the team assisted on all eight of their field goals. The Sixers would close the gap to 14 to end the third quarter, however, using a 13-4 run fueled by All-Star Joel Embiid.
"It just says something about our defense throughout the game," Satoransky said of the Wizards holding the Sixers to 36.0% from the field. "Our pressure, physicality was great, something we missed in the Charlotte game. Obviously, playing against two great future stars, [Joel] Embiid, [Ben Simmons] they are already putting in All-Star type of numbers. It’s really tough to stop them. I think we did our best and forced them to take the toughest shots they could possibly take."
Philadelphia would bring the game within eight points in the fourth quarter, but every time the Sixers went on the run, the Wizards responded. Beal, who has struggled late in games at times, delivered late with eight points down the stretch to seal the deal.
The Wizards' 19 turnovers turned into 31 Sixers points and Philadelphia had 15 second chance points and attempted 21 more free throws than Washington. Still, the Wizards played tough defense and created open shots with excellent ball movement to separate themselves early on.
With the two teams close in the standings, the win ties the season series at 2-2, ensuring that the Sixers will not own any tiebreaker outright. March's games against the Bucks and the Pacers and Heat twice will be similar considering the season series and standings.
“Sometimes it's going to come down to best record between the two and we know right now we're split 2-2 right now," Brooks said postgame. "It's going to be the next tiebreaker if it comes down to that. But we're not worried about that right now but it is a good win for us. We needed a bounce-back win, and we didn't like the way we came out and competed against the Hornets after having a great win on the road in Cleveland."
Next up, the Wizards (35-25) head to Milwaukee for another pivotal Eastern Conference game against the Bucks on Tuesday at 8:00pm on TNT.