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Wizards shut down Sixers in D.C., 123-106
The Wizards didn’t have much time to dwell on a Tuesday night loss to the Sixers in Philadelphia. They proved as much when they stepped back onto the floor in D.C. on Wednesday for a rematch. The story on Washington’s home court was quite the role reversal, as the Wizards led by as many as 26 points en route to returning the favor to Philadelphia with a 123-106 blowout victory.
Bradley Beal remained in All-Star form Wednesday, scoring 34 points to lead the Wizards in scoring on an efficient 13-for-21 from the field (6-of-11 from 3-point range). Otto Porter Jr. was again a spark off the bench with 23 points, while Trevor Ariza chipped in 17.
While Washington still struggled with turnovers after committing too many Tuesday, it benefitted from 24 Sixers miscues Wednesday. The Wizards also were much more competitive down low, only trailing in rebounding by seven and in paint scoring by four. That was a big part of what went wrong in Philadelphia, and the Wizards’ clear focus on playing more even in the paint proved to be important in bouncing back with a win.
“Doing it for 48 minutes,” said Beal. “I think last night we had a good first quarter, we played with energy and moved the ball. We defended well although we gave up 32 points. [Tonight] was just [a better effort] of staying with it the whole game.”
"We gave up a lot of offensive rebounds and turned the ball over again in the second quarter, which hurt us last night too. But I think for the whole game we just stayed with it and stayed aggressive. We attacked downhill on offense and got stops when we needed to.”
After starting the game up 17-8, Beal’s 11 first-quarter points guided the Wizards to a five-point first-quarter lead. In the second quarter, Washington found its stride. The second unit fueled an 18-3 eruption to start the frame on the backs of Porter (11 points in the second), Sam Dekker (11 points on the night), and Chasson Randle (seven points). Philadelphia chipped away and got the lead down to 12 later in the frame, but the return of Beal to the floor helped buoy the Wizards and give them a 15-point advantage at halftime.
Another big Wizards run in the third proved to be the definitive blow for Philadelphia. Ariza found his stride in the frame, scoring nine points and engineering a 11-0 run to give Washington its biggest lead of the night at 26 points. Thomas Bryant also scored all nine of his points in the third. The Sixers again cut the lead to 12 midway through the fourth quarter, but Beal again was the answer down the stretch to close the game out.
“It’s just being aggressive,” said Ariza. “When we’re aggressive throughout the whole game on both ends we give ourselves a chance. When we keep teams from second chance points, rebound the ball, pass the ball and play together, we’re pretty good.”
Next on the Wizards' homestand is a meeting with the East-leading Bucks on Friday night. Tip-off is set for 7:00 P.M. ET.