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Sixers cruise past Wizards in Philly, 123-98
The Wizards knew they faced an uphill battle heading into Friday night’s meeting with the Sixers in Philadelphia. Already without Dwight Howard for the next 2-3 months, Otto Porter Jr. (personal matter) was also ruled out for the game, leaving Washington shorthanded against one of the hottest teams in the East. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and co. deliverd on their home floor as eight Sixers reached double-figures en route to a 123-98 rout.
Philadelphia dominated in multiple facets on the night, but especially on the boards. The Sixers outrebounded the Wizards 58-42 on the night, including 17 offensive rebounds. From the jump, that made it hard for Washington to find chances in transition and gain any foothold against a rolling Sixers team that has now won seven of its last eight. Embiid’s 16 points and 15 rebounds led the way for Philly, but the Sixers used a true team effort as all 12 active players hit multiple field goals on the night.
"They were making shots, they were moving much faster than us; they outplayed us," said Wizards head coach Scott Brooks. "They are a very good team, a talented team; you got to have your entire roster to give yourself the best chance and tonight they were clicking, their bench came in and did a great job as well."
Bradley Beal’s 19 points paced the Wizards, but he was also plagued by foul trouble early that took the already shorthanded rotation out of sync. Austin Rivers’ 15 points off the bench were the next closest for Washington, which struggled from the field (40%) and 3-point range (8-for-28, 28%). Jeff Green (back), a game-time decision, did start but was limited throughout the night with back spasms, adding to short rotation woes.
After trailing by 12 at the end of the first quarter, the Sixers quickly accelerated to a 21-point lead by the 9-minute mark in the second. The Wizards’ best stretch of the night followed, as a 14-2 run of their own powered by Beal and John Wall (11 points, seven assists on the night) brought the deficit back within nine. But as was the case all night, Simmons (13 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds) and a wide range of scorers put together a scoring blitz in response that returned the Philadelphia lead to 19 at the half.
In addition to Embiid and Simmons, J.J. Redick’s 14 points and Jimmy Butler’s 11 rounded out the starters in double figures. But with the game in control from nearly the outset, Philadelphia’s bench shined bright with extended run. T.J. McConnell’s 15 points led the second unit, while Mike Muscala posted a double-double (12 points, 10 rebound). Furkan Korkmaz and rookie guard Landry Shamet added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
In the second half, it was largely the second unit that extended the Sixers’ lead to as many as 35 points in the fourth quarter. When all was said and done, Philadelphia owned advantages in paint points (54-46), second chance points (14-6) and fast break points (21-13). It shot 43.9% from the field and hit 12-of-38 from deep on the night.
Friday's loss won't sit well with the Wizards as it ended an 0-2 road trip. Still, with the calendar just now about to turn to December, they understand that the majority of the season is still ahead.
"The biggest thing is making sure we do it together," said Bradley Beal postgame. "There’s no separation in here, there’s no pointing a finger. We’re all in this together. We’ve got to get out of it together, that’s the only way it’s going to work. It definitely starts in the beginning, we’ve got to get out to better starts."
Perhaps it’s best that the Wizards will have no time to dwell on Friday night’s loss, as they will head home to take on the Nets on Saturday night in D.C. Tip-off is set for 7:00 P.M.