Recap: Wizards eliminated with Game 5 loss to Sixers
FINAL: Wizards 112 | Sixers 129
Wizards: Bradley Beal (32), Russell Westbrook (24), Rui Hachimura (21)
Sixers: Seth Curry (30), Tobias Harris (28), Ben Simmons (19)
The Wizards were defeated by the Sixers 129-112 in Game 5 of the teams’ first round series on Wednesday night in Philadelphia. Bradley Beal scored a game-high 32 points to lead three Wizards scoring 20-plus points. With the loss, Washington is eliminated from postseason contention.
After a cold shooting night in Game 4, Russell Westbrook knocked down his first three jumpers of the night on Wednesday, leading the Wizards to an early six-point lead. Washington led by as many as seven points in the first before Philadelphia closed the opening frame on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 29 heading into the second quarter. Beal led the way with 11 points on 4-7 (.571) shooting. The Wizards and Sixers battled back and forth until halftime. Washington led from 10:37 until 1:07 in the second quarter, though never by more than four points. Neither team managed to build momentum or string together a run, due mostly to the high volume of whistles and free throws. The teams combined to shoot 29 free throws in the second quarter, led by Beal and Westbrook, who each shot 6-6 (1.000) from the line. Philadelphia took their first lead of the night on a Tobias Harris 3-pointer with 1:07 left in the first half and carried a 65-63 lead into halftime.
Philadelphia’s offense came alive in the third quarter, scoring 38 points on 66.7% from the field and 57.1% from 3-point range. Seth Curry scored the first 12 points of the second half for the Sixers, battling back and forth with Beal, who added another nine points in the quarter. Neither team managed much separation until a 9-2 Philadelphia run put Washington in its first double-digit deficit of the night with a minute left in the third. The Wizards’ hopes of a comeback faded as the team went cold in the fourth quarter, shooting just 6-18 (.333) from the field, 0-5 (.000) from three and 6-10 (.600) from the free throw line. The Wizards went without a field goal for over five minutes mid-way through the final frame as the Sixers pulled away for the win.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Beal leads the way with 32, averages 30.0 for the series
Beal was at his best from the opening tip. He scored eight points in the first five minutes of the game and totaled 21 in the first half. With 32 points in Game 5, Beal finished the series averaging 30.0 points per game and becomes the first Wizards player to average 30.0 points per game or more over the course of a playoff series since Gilbert Arenas did so in 2006. While he was efficient from the field all night, Beal’s most reliable source of scoring came at the free throw line, where he hit all 10 of his attempts.
Hachimura, Gafford close series with strong performances
While Beal led the way in the scoring column, the Wizards got impact performances from Rui Hachimura and Daniel Gafford, each playing in their first career playoff series. Coming off the first 20-point playoff game of his career, Hachimura notched another one with 21 points on 8-13 (.615) from the field. Hachimura combined to shoot 16-25 (.640) from the field over his last two games of the series. Gafford, coming off a five-block game in Game 4, made his second consecutive start and finished with two more blocks to go along with eight points, seven rebounds and two steals.
Simmons leads Sixers’ smaller lineups
The Sixers were playing without MVP candidate Joel Embiid after he suffered a partial meniscus tear in his right knee in Game 4. Dwight Howard, Philadelphia’s only other true center on the roster, played 16 minutes and finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, though Sixers head coach Doc Rivers elected to go small to start the game. Simmons, who started at center, Curry, Harris, Danny Green and Matisse Thybulle got the start. Despite giving up the size advantage, the Sixers outscored the Wizards 52-38 in the paint and won the rebounding battle 40-38. Simmons did it all for Philadelphia, totaling 19 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists and two blocks.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT