By: Kylan Watson
The Philadelphia 76ers were riding high as they had a chance to sweep the Washington Wizards in game 4. Unfortunately for them a late offensive surge and losing center Joel Embiid to a sore right knee doomed them. As the Wizards were able to open the flood gates late in the fourth quarter to beat them 122-114.
It looked good for Philly early they were able to hit their first five shots and got out to an early lead. Forward Tobias Harris took advantage of his early opportunities as he scored 21-points. He got what he wanted against the Washington and it didn’t matter who they put on him. Philly had all the momentum until late in the first quarter when center Joel Embiid went down with an injury after clearly being fouled by center Robin Lopez. He went to the locker room and didn’t return.
The absence of Embiid loomed large in this game as Philly lost their edge and the lead as the Wizards were able to take a 12-point lead in the third quarter. They were led by guard Bradley Beal who scored 27-points. Philly had no answer for him and it did not matter who guarded him. He was able to attack the paint and if he couldn’t get to the basket he would hit a perimeter jump shot with a hand in his face. Unlike the previous games he had some help as Rui Hachimura found his shot against the Sixers. He scored 20-points and hit three three-pointers. None bigger than the game-clinching three from the corner late in the fourth quarter. He was able to find the holes in Philly’s defense and get his shot to fall. This was a pride game for the Wizards and they played like a team who was on the cusp of elimination. They got to the 50/50 ball faster than Philly and outmuscled them as well.
The Sixers will now have a day off as they prepare for another opportunity to end Washington season back in Philly on Wednesday night. They will need to play better perimeter defense and get more balanced scoring if they want to beat the Wizards.