bradley beal

Sixers pull out the fire extinguishers at home

Sixers pull out the fire extinguishers at home


The Sixers snapped the Wizards’ five-game winning streak Tuesday with a 115-102 victory. 

The Wizards had been playing surprisingly well in the absence of All-Star guard John Wall, who underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery at the end of January. That was until they came to the Wells Fargo Center.

Bradley Beal's 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists were not enough to counter a 27-point, 12-rebound double-double from Joel Embiid and another 20 points and seven boards from Dario Saric. Embiid reached 20 points for the 30th time this season.

“You just beat a team that was hot,” Brett Brown said. “They'd won five games in a row, their style of play when you study them during that five-game stretch was really impressive. They shared the ball, they ran with great pace and they guarded.”

• The Sixers sprinted out to an early first-quarter lead as Wizards not named Otto Porter Jr. and Markieff Morris struggled to score. The opening quarter included an alley-oop from T.J. McConnell to Jerryd Bayless and threes by McConnell and Amir Johnson.

• There were more third-quarter ups and downs. The Sixers committed turnovers on three consecutive possessions in the third. During that quarter, the Wizards, led by 11 points from Beal, cut the Sixers’ lead from 19 to seven. The Sixers committed 17 turnovers (leading to 22 Wizards’ points) on the night.

“We just wanted to come out and be aggressive, especially after the bad one we had against Indiana,” Embiid said. “We just wanted to be aggressive, especially defensively.”

• The Wizards didn’t go away in the fourth. They got within eight with four minutes to play. The Sixers pulled away on a 10-3 run to hold on for the game in which they led by as many as 22 points. 

• The Sixers have the rare opportunity to play five straight home games leading up to the All-Star break. The team is focused on maximizing the rare schedule, especially as it faces Eastern Conference competitors Wizards and Heat. 

“Coach talked about that,” Saric said. “After we finished with the meeting, he put on the screen, 'Four more, guys.' It's important in that situation. Playing four games at home in front of our fans, in front of the crazy energy from the Super Bowl. We need it, we need it. We really need to be focused for the four games and try to win. I think if we win before [the All-Star break], we get better as we go on and be ready for the last part of the season.”

• The Super Bowl champions were in the building. Members of the Eagles' offensive line rang the ceremonial bell to kick off the game.

Best of NBA: Bradley Beal's career-high 51 points ignite Wizards' win

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Best of NBA: Bradley Beal's career-high 51 points ignite Wizards' win

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Bradley Beal scored a career-high 51 points, and the Washington Wizards bounced back from a demoralizing loss the night before to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 106-92 on Tuesday night.

Beal made 21 field goals, also a career high, and the Wizards led by as many as 23 points. He hit five 3-pointers.

Damian Lillard finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for the Blazers, who have lost three straight at home after returning from a 4-1 trip.

Portland was hurt midway through the final quarter when center Jusuf Nurkic limped off the court and to the locker room after appearing to injure his right ankle. He had 15 points and nine rebounds before leaving.

The Wizards were coming off a 116-69 loss Monday night at Utah, the second-largest losing margin in franchise history (see full recap).

Westbrook's triple-double sparks Thunder comeback
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook scored 34 points in his seventh triple-double of the season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from 17 points down in the second half to defeat the Utah Jazz 100-94 on Tuesday night.

Westbrook finished with 14 assists and 13 rebounds. Paul George scored 21 points, Steven Adams had 20 points and nine rebounds and Carmelo Anthony added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder, who won their third straight.

Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points and Joe Ingles added 16 for the Jazz, who had won six straight and scored at least 106 points in each game.

The Jazz led 47-39 at halftime, and they opened things up even more early in the third quarter. A driving layup by Alec Burks put the Jazz up 72-55 as the Thunder continued to misfire on open shots.

Westbrook closed out the third quarter strong and helped the Thunder cut Utah's lead to 80-68 by the end of the period. He scored 11 points in the quarter.

Oklahoma City cut the deficit to six points early in the fourth quarter before Westbrook re-entered the game after a brief rest. The Thunder finally took the lead on a layup by Westbrook with about four minutes remaining. A tip-in by Adams with 43.2 seconds left put the Thunder up five (see full recap).

Lowry, DeRozan lead Raptors past Suns
TORONTO -- Kyle Lowry had 20 points and 10 assists, DeMar DeRozan scored 20 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Phoenix Suns 126-113 on Tuesday night, improving their NBA-best home record to 9-1.

Suns guard Devin Booker had to be carried off the floor by two teammates after suffering an apparent leg injury with 2:40 remaining and Phoenix trailing by 11. Booker froze in pain while playing defense and did not move as trainers came out to examine him.

Booker, who shook off a 2-for-11 start to score a season-high 46 points Monday in a win at Philadelphia, shot 0 for 7 in the first half Tuesday. He finished 4 for 15 with 19 points, including 10 of 12 from the foul line.

Serge Ibaka scored 19 points and OG Anunoby matched his career high with 16 as Toronto won its fourth straight.

The Raptors, who have scored 100 or more points in 10 consecutive games, almost reached triple digits in three quarters Tuesday. Toronto led 97-79 heading to the fourth and weren't seriously challenged in the final frame.

Greg Monroe had 11 points and 10 rebounds as the weary Suns wrapped up a six-game, 10-day road trip with their seventh of 15 back-to-backs this season. Phoenix is 3-4 in the second game of back-to-backs.

Alex Len scored 13 points and Troy Daniels and Josh Jackson each had 13 for Phoenix, which went 2-4 on its trip (see full recap).

Sixers-Wizards observations: Holding on to end homestand

Sixers-Wizards observations: Holding on to end homestand


A 29-point blowout turned into Hack-A-Ben as the Sixers barely edged out the Wizards for a 118-113 win on Wednesday night.

The game seemed put away when the Sixers had a 22-point lead over the John Wall-less Wizards early in the fourth quarter. But after the Sixers were up 95-79 with 7:11 remaining, the Wizards outscored them 18-5 to make it a three-point game. 

While the Wizards raced back into the game, they intentionally fouled Ben Simmons, a 56.6 percent free throw shooter. Their strategy was effective. Simmons shot 12 for 24 in the fourth quarter alone. He finished the game 15 of 29 (51.7 percent) from the line and the team was 41 of 64 (64.1 percent) from the stripe.

The Sixers were without Joel Embiid for the final 2:24 after he fouled out. Dario Saric connected on an and-one from JJ Redick with 22.2 seconds remaining to give the Sixers a 116-111 lead. Tomas Satoransky cut it back to three, 116-113, with 11.4 ticks to go. Jerryd Bayless hit free throws to finally ice the win. 

• Simmons showed no lingering effects of a right ankle sprain. He recorded a monster 31-point, 18-rebound double-double. Simmons also had four assists, two steals, two blocks and six turnovers in 41 minutes. He set career highs in scoring, rebounds and minutes. 

• Embiid, who played in this game instead of Thursday’s bookend of a back-to-back set (see more below), posted 25 points, 14 points, four assists and four blocks in 32 minutes. He became the first player since Yao Ming to record at least 16 games of three blocks within his first 50 games. 

• Embiid has yet to be cleared for consecutive games and will not play on Thursday in Boston against the Celtics. Brett Brown noted Embiid’s desire to play in front of the home crowd as well as the fact that suiting up Wednesday versus Thursday gives the center an extra day of rest before their next matchup on Saturday when they host the Pistons. 

• Instead of being able to rest for most of the fourth quarter ahead of a back-to-back, the Sixers’ starters were back together with just under six minutes to play to fend off the Wizards.

• The Sixers’ second unit took a hit when T.J. McConnell sustained a left shoulder contusion in the third quarter and did not return. X-rays came back negative. McConnell had four points, two rebounds and an assist through 16 minutes. The Sixers utilized Bayless, who can play the one and the two, at the point in McConnell’s absence. 

• The Wizards received a big boost from their bench. Kelly Oubre Jr. scored a team-high 22 points and Jodie Meeks added 21, as the Wizards’ bench outscored the Sixers’ reserves, 67-21.

• Bradley Beal left the game in the first with a right facial contusion but returned to finish with 21 points.

• Embiid swatted not one, but two shots in six seconds during the second quarter. First, a cutting layup attempt by Meeks. Then, a 10-foot jumper by Oubre. Embiid eclipsed his season average for blocks (1.6) on one trip down the court. 

Adding to his highlight reel, Embiid blocked Tim Frazier later in the quarter and hustled down the court in time to get up for a monster dunk from Simmons four seconds later. He showed his athleticism and speed on that play.

• Injury updates: Nik Stauskas was cleared to play after missing the last eight games because of a right ankle sprain. Justin Anderson (left leg) and Markelle Fultz (right shoulder) remained sidelined. In addition to Wall, Sheldon Mac (left Achilles surgery) was out for the Wizards. 

• Jahlil Okafor was listed as inactive and Richaun Holmes did not play. Holmes should see more playing time against the Celtics without Embiid available. 

• The Sixers pulled down 64 ... 6-4 ... rebounds. Covington (12), Embiid (14) and Simmons (18) combined to out-rebound the Wizards (35) by themselves.