The Sixers could get used to not having every single win be a nail-baiter.
They earned a second straight blowout victory Friday night, 123-98, over the Washington Wizards. The Sixers led by as many as 35 points.
With the win, the Sixers are 16-8, 12-1 at the Wells Fargo Center. They’ve won seven of their last eight games.
• As was the case in Wednesday’s win over the Knicks, the Sixers’ defense was very good.
Washington relies on Bradley Beal and John Wall to produce much of its offense out of isolation sets, and those two didn't do much damage. Beal and Wall combined for 30 points on 10 for 28 shooting.
• The Sixers matched Jimmy Butler up against Beal, as expected, and JJ Redick on Wall, which was more of a surprise.
Redick did well in his first stint on Wall, playing solid positional defense and funneling the All-Star guard into help. Wall missed his first four shots of the game.
• The Wizards announced Friday that Dwight Howard will have back surgery and be reevaluated in two to three months.
With Howard sidelined, Thomas Bryant and Ian Mahinmi split the minutes at center for Washington.
Joel Embiid had 16 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks, dominating Bryant and Mahinmi inside. Embiid was a team-best plus-30.
Head coach Brett Brown had the luxury of removing Embiid late in the third quarter and playing the big man a season-low 22 minutes.
• The Sixers’ energy and effort was simply better than the Wizards’ from the opening tip. To put it frankly, Washington looked like a team that is fielding offers for just about everyone on the roster, as reports indicate.
The Sixers grabbed the first 10 offensive rebounds of the game.
A play early in the second quarter was emblematic of the Wizards’ early effort. T.J. McConnell lost the ball driving into the paint and a couple Wizards players halfheartedly pursued it. Butler picked it up and tossed it to Wilson Chandler, who nailed a wide-open three-pointer.
• Ben Simmons attempted only eight total shots, but he made them count. He hit all five field goals and all three of his free throws.
When Furkan Korkmaz threw this lob it looked like there was no way Simmons could reach it, but Simmons soared above the rim for the finish.
SIMMONS, INCOMING.— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) December 1, 2018
Simmons with the slam and stare after the lob from Korkmaz! pic.twitter.com/xW3FJLTAUw
Simmons had 13 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. He won’t be happy about his six turnovers.
• In the middle of the second period, the Sixers had a lapse as the Wizards cut the deficit to single digits after a string of Sixers’ turnovers that allowed Wall to build a head of steam in transition, where he thrives.
Butler had two important baskets that helped the Sixers’ stagnant offense during that period. Finding Butler and letting him create his own shot is a nice run-stopping option the Sixers had been lacking.
Butler had 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes.
• Shake Milton, the No. 54 pick in this year’s draft, made his NBA debut in the fourth quarter. He didn’t waste much time before notching his first NBA points, burying a three-pointer from the right wing on his first possession.
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