The Washington Wizards recovered from last night’s debacle on the road and defeated the Philadelphia 76ers here, at Capital One Arena by a score of 123-106. It was a very complete win and this now means that January now has two of Washington’s best wins of the season.
The Wizards need every single win they can get, regardless of who it is against. While poor, sloppy performances have been the new norm for Washington this season, they went out and dominated Philadelphia as they bounced back in convincing fashion.
Just like Tuesday’s game, the Wizards got off to a fast start. After back-and-forth scoring left the two teams tied at eight points apiece, the Wizards pushed forward with a 7-0 run that was caused by two Trevor Ariza buckets. In fact, Beal and Ariza actually scored all of Washington’s first 19 points. Although eight turnovers robbed the Wizards of a bigger lead, they still led the Sixers 25-20 after one.
The Wizards played a lot better in the second, getting off to a 12-0 run and creating a bigger lead. The Wizards’ fast-growing lead reached as many as 20 when Sam Dekker hit a 23-foot jump shot with eight minutes to play in the second quarter. Washington led 63-48 at the break.
The third quarter was all Thomas Bryant. He recorded nine points, six rebounds, and two assists during the quarter as he proceeded to own Joel Embiid all game long. Embiid ended the night with a minus-25 in the box score, indicating that some of the Sixers’ struggles with him happened when he on the floor despite his superb statline.
Much like Thomas Bryant the quarter before, Beal owned the fourth. At one point, Brad scored 14 unanswered points that gave the Wizards a 116-95 lead with three minutes remaining in the game. Beal finished with 34 points on 21 shots and five assists to boot, further bolstering his All-Star case as voting nears the January 21 deadline. Here are some of the takeaways following tonight’s game.
Thomas Bryant needs to be extended
Although Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. were the main contributors in tonight’s game, it was hard to leave out Thomas Bryant. His energy and bounce shows something that the Wizards have needed for years.
This is not something you can expect on a night-to-night basis but Bryant is doing that. He also looks very comfortable with his role of being a rim protector and playmaker.
Bryant wasn’t needed in the fourth, and so finished with just his 9-6-2 third-quarter statline, but for five minutes he was the most impactful player on the floor. What a baller. The Wizards need to pay this man as soon as possible.
Do you believe in miracles?
The Wizards now stand at a record of 17-25. They are three games behind the Charlotte Hornets and the Brooklyn Nets for the last two playoff spots. After everything Washington has been through over the first half of the season, they still have a shot at getting in the postseason. While it would take a huge winning streak to get them in the postseason, anything is possible. Do you believe in miracles?