WASHINGTON — The Sixers’ seven-game winning streak came to an end on the road Sunday at the hands of the Wizards, 109-94.
This matchup was a look ahead to a potential postseason matchup. The Sixers (32-26) are chasing the fourth seed, currently held by the Wizards (35-25), for homecourt advantage. They could have closed the gap on the two-game differential, but instead took a step back.
The Sixers went into role reversal mode in the fourth. Just as the Magic had done to them the previous night, the Sixers tried to overcome a 23-point deficit with a late-game push. They got within eight points with under four minutes to go.
The duo of starter Otto Porter Jr. (23 points) and reserve Kelly Oubre Jr. (19 points) set the tone of the game with a combined 32 points in the first half. Bradley Beal added another 24 points on the night to further separate the teams.
The Sixers had not lost since Feb. 3, when they fell to the Pacers in Indiana. The Wizards continue to surge without All-Star John Wall (left knee surgery). They improved to 9-3 in his recent absence.
• Joel Embiid continued to play on the second night of back-to-back series. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, his 31st double-double of the season. Embiid played through foul trouble after picking up his fourth two minutes into the third.
• The Sixers had a rough night on the offensive end, shooting just 36 percent from the field while connecting on only nine of their 33 attempts from three-point range. The Wizards, on the other hand, shot at a 54.4 percent clip while connecting on 12 of their 25 threes.
• Marco Belinelli (10 points, 2-for-7 from three) played 25 minutes as he gets acclimated to his new teammates. Brett Brown believes Ben Simmons and Embiid will benefit from the spacing created by the veteran guard.
“He’s a great cutter,” Simmons (16 points, eight rebounds, eight assists) said. “He can shoot the ball and his IQ is pretty good on the floor, so it just makes it easier for me.”
• Brown went back to Amir Johnson as the first backup five off the bench. Richaun Holmes, who clocked 21 minutes Saturday, got 12 minutes in the second half, at times at the four alongside Embiid.
• The Sixers could not capitalize on scoring 31 points off 19 Wizards turnovers. The Sixers gave up 17 points off 15 errors.
• The Capital One Arena is the scene of Markelle Fultz’s opening night shooting struggles. Months later, he showed progress during drills before the game:
Markelle Fultz pregame: pic.twitter.com/5OmVYaauzf— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoNBCS) February 25, 2018
• There always is a strong showing of Sixers fans in Washington, D.C. On Sunday they filled seats sporting jerseys ranging from Embiid and Simmons to Allen Iverson to Jrue Holiday. Fans loudly chanted “Trust the Process” and mixed in “E-A-G-L-E-S” every now and then.
• Up next: The Sixers will travel to Miami to play the Heat Tuesday. Miami is currently in the eighth spot at 31-29.