By: Kylan Watson
Riding an eight-game winning streak the surging Philadelphia 76ers traveled to Washington to face the Wizards. Sixers were colder than the bomb cyclone that hit the country this week, from the three-point line. Only hitting six three-pointers, while Washington made it rain from the three-point line to drown Philly’s comeback attempt beating them 116-111.
From the opening tip-off the Wizards jumped on the Sixers, they used ball movement to keep Philly’s defenders on their heels. That led to high percentage shots on their offensive possessions and that emboldened a team that on paper was inferior in the talent department. The ball movement led to 11 three-pointers and the Sixers did not have any answers for their three-point shooting. Kristaps Porzingis led them, he scored 24-points and hit three three-pointers that kept Philly at bay. He got whatever he wanted from the field and late in the game he made the game clinching three-pointer that stopped the Sixers comeback attempt. He took full advantage of some soft defense that was played on him early in the game. An emboldened Porzingis was the death of them tonight, the Sixers just did not have enough tonight to beat the Wizards.
Despite the offensive explosion from Porzingis the Sixers had every opportunity to steal this game. However, they spotted the Wizards an 11-point lead by half-time and it ballooned to a 15-point lead mid-way through the third quarter. This was the third straight game that this has happened and the difference tonight was Philly couldn’t hit shots when it mattered. Joel Embiid had another strong night scoring 48-points and he did all he could to keep his team in the game. He did not get enough help tonight to pull the team over the finish line. Once again, their late game execution left something to be desired as they played very tentatively tonight. At times some players on the floor refused to put a shot up. Which led to Embiid having to drive the ball in traffic which led to two killer turnovers. The Sixers have got to get it together with their late game execution and somebody will have to take charge when it matters most. Tonight, they needed a closer and no one stepped up and with Tyrese Maxey coming back the offensive punch should increase, but the unforced errors have to stop.
The Sixers will now prepare for the surging New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night and they will need to find their footing from the three-point line if they want to keep up with an athletic New Orleans squad. Additionally, they will need to stay attached to their man on the defensive end. If they want to get their 21st victory of the season and stop Zion Williamson.