Amidst a day of violent insurrection on Capitol Hill, a basketball game was played in South Philadelphia. The 76ers, who entered the game with the NBA’s best record (6-1), met the Washington Wizards, a rematch of the Dec. 23 opener that the Sixers won 113-107.
Here are some quick takes from Wednesday’s game, which the Sixers won, 141-136.
Not putting away the Wizards early
Washington trailed by as many as 21 points near the midway part of the third quarter but kept fighting. The Sixers weren’t able to put the Wizards away and found themselves in a competitive game in the fourth quarter.
With the ease that the Sixers have been winning, it’s easy to let up, but this should be a lesson that even a defensive-deficient team like the Wizards can make a run.
Curry for three
Seth Curry was in an early groove, hitting all five three-point attempts in the first quarter. Curry doesn’t need much room, but the Wizards were giving him more than they should have. The Sixers kept running Curry off picks, and Washington wasn’t adjusting. Rookie Deni Avdija especially had trouble staying with Curry.
Washington entered the game 27th in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing 113.3 points per 100 possessions, and, especially in the second quarter when the Sixers scored 49 points, there was very little resistance.
Bradley Beal is a two-time all-star stuck on a team that appears to be once again going nowhere. Still, one has to appreciate Beal’s offensive ability.
He went into the game shooting just 28.9% from beyond the arc but was unconscious, with 57 points through three quarters. His previous career high was 55 points. He ended with 60.
Playing off Westbrook
Russell Westbrook isn’t a good shooter, and Ben Simmons plays him the way others do against Simmons. Instead of playing him tight, Simmons played off Westbrook, and in doing so was also available to double-team in the paint.
Picking up after a slow start
Joel Embiid got off to a rough starting, missing all six of his first-quarter shots. Even though he was scoreless in playing 9 minutes, 51 seconds in the first quarter, he left the game with the Sixers leading, 26-21. That was a good sign.
While Embiid was missing early in the first half, he started getting hot, and one thing that helped him was high percentage shots like this one below.
Simmons posting up
It’s not unusual for Simmons to take advantage of his height against smaller guards. He did that early in the game, making three straight shots near the basket.