Wizards

Wizards lose to Sixers as recent skid continues

Wizards

The Washington Wizards lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 112-93 on Sunday night. Here are five takeaways from what went down...

Wizards keep sliding

The stakes are high in the playoff race, the Wizards are fully healthy and yet they are currently tumbling in the standings, navigating one of their worst stretches of the season so far.

They were blown out by the Sixers on Sunday night for their fifth loss in six games. This is their worst six-game sample size in nearly two months.

Granted, it was a road game against one of the best teams in the league. The schedule did the Wizards no favors as they search for a spark to get their season back on track.

Ideally, they will find that spark sooner than later. After Sunday's loss, they are 31-37 on the season with only 14 games to go. They fell out of the final play-in tournament spot this weekend and are currently tied with the Pacers for 11th in the East and the sixth-worst record in the NBA.

Offensive struggles

The Sixers are top-10 in both offensive and defensive rating, a tell-tale sign of a true contender, but it was their defense that dominated this game. The Wizards just could not get their offense going for a sustained period of time. They scored 31 points in the second quarter, but just 62 points in the other three combined.

Washington shot 40.5% overall and 23.1% (6-for-26) from three. Turnovers actually weren't an issue, despite recent trends. They just couldn't make shots, as the Sixers did a good job covering ground to prevent them from getting open.

 

Off-night for Porzingis

This was a rare game where Kristaps Porzingis really struggled to shoot the ball. Porzingis had just nine points, shooting 4-for-15 from the field and 0-for-3 from three. He did have six rebounds and two blocks, but clearly it was way below his standards.

Porzingis has been so good and so consistent, not only this season but since arriving in Washington, that this was legitimately one of his worst games as a member of the Wizards. It was just the second time in 75 games with the Wizards Porzingis didn't score in double-figures.

Kispert went off

Corey Kispert has been heating up lately and he took it to another level against the Sixers. The second-year wing came out hot with 14 points in the first half, making 6-of-8 from the field. That set the stage for 25 points on the night, tying a career-high. He shot 9-for-13 overall and 3-for-7 from three.

This was the seventh time in eight games Kispert has made multiple threes, but his aggressiveness around the rim stood out most in this one. He was living in the lane off well-timed cuts and aggressive catch-and-gos. That approach was highlighted by maybe his best dunk as an NBA player so far. Kispert got a running start on a drive-and-kick by Kyle Kuzma and put Sixers big man Paul Reed on a poster.

Gibson got the call

The Wizards have recently cut their rotation down to basically just eight regulars, as the season is winding down and there is some natural urgency to finish strong in the playoff race. But Unseld Jr. turned to Taj Gibson early as he was searching for an antidote to solve Embiid.

Gibson had played a total of eight minutes in the last six games, taking DNP's in four of them. But Porzingis and Daniel Gafford were having some trouble matching Embiid's physical play and Gibson offers another element in that regard. Gibson, though, left in the third quarter with a non-COVID illness, and soon after that Porzingis picked up his fourth foul.