76ers Look to Bounce Back and Advance in Game 5
After falling to the Wizards, 122-114, in Monday’s Game 4 in Washington, the 76ers return to South Philadelphia with a second chance to clinch an Eastern Conference Semifinal berth.
Joel Embiid’s first-quarter exit (right knee soreness) challenged the Sixers as Game 4 progressed, while Washington capitalized on the MVP finalist’s absence.
The Wizards shot 50.0% from the field (10-20 fg) and 100.0% from deep (3-3 3fg) in Game 4’s pivotal third period, outscoring the Sixers, 32-19, in the frame. The Sixers’ fourth quarter push - led by Tyrese Maxey and Furkan Korkmaz - fell just short.
Maxey scored 10 of his 15 points in the final frame, while Korkmaz scored all seven of his points in the fourth period, shooting 3-for-4 from the field.
The Sixers quickly turned the page following the loss, and focused on reestablishing its hallmark defense in Game 5.
“We dropped the ball on this one, but we’ll recoup, get back together, and get it going,” Tobias Harris (21 pts, 13 reb, 5 ast) said.
“This was more of a defensive game, than anything, for us. We just weren’t able to get the stops that we needed throughout the game. We’ve got to learn from it.”
Embiid (right knee soreness) is doubtful for Game 5, while Seth Curry (left ankle sprain) and George Hill (left knee contusion) are probable.
Maxey echoed Harris’ Game 5 goals:
“We’re really going to focus on what we did wrong on the defensive end, and try to come out and fix that. Coach Doc always says - our offense is tied to our defense. So if we get stops, our offense will come.”
Aiding the Sixers’ efforts Wednesday will be a packed house at The Center - the first time some of the Sixers will play in front of a full arena this season.
“I’ve been on the other end of it, so I know exactly what it’s like,” Danny Green (11 pts, 3 reb, 3 blk) said Monday.”
“I’ve been in that arena as an opposing team, so I know how hard it is to play in that arena. I’m looking forward to it. No better timing than right now, when we need our fans at home.”
Wednesday’s Game 5 tips at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Washington had its best holistic performance in Game 4, with all five starters and seven total Wizards finishing in double figures.
Russell Westbrook notched a 19-point, 21-rebound, 14-assist triple-double, while Bradley Beal put up 27 points, four rebounds, four assists, a steal, and two blocks. Sophomore and starter Rui Hachimura scored 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting, plus 13 boards.