Wed, Jun 2, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The Philadelphia 76ers host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, June 2, at 7 PM ET at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Sixers enter game five up 3-1 after the Wizards picked up a 122-114 win in game four. Joel Embiid left the game early and did not return. He will miss game five with a partial tear in his meniscus and is listed as day-to-day for the remainder of the series if games six and seven are necessary.
Philadelphia jumped out to a 3-0 series lead over Washington with three dominating wins. The lowest point differential in the first three wins for the Sixers was seven in game one. Since then, the Sixers won game two by 25 points and game three by 29 points.
"Each guy thought they had to win the game for us," 76ers coach Doc Rivers said about what happened to his team's offense after Embiid departed. "You've still got to play right. ... Tonight we didn't play right, on either end."
The game four loss prevented the Sixers from securing their first sweep in a playoff series in 36 years.
Embiid will be missed by the Sixers. He poured in a career playoff-high 36 points in just 28 minutes in game three. Embiid played just 11 minutes in game four, scoring eight points and pulling down six rebounds. Former Wizard Mike Scott replaced Embiid in the lineup to begin the second half.
Ben Simmons was sent to the foul line multiple times late in the game in a purposeful game plan by the Wizards due to his poor free-throw shooting in the series.
"Obviously that's what they're going to do. That's what they should do," Rivers said. "And I'm OK with that."
Tobias Harris was the leading scorer for the Sixers with 21 points. Simmons finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
A reporter pressed Rivers about Simmons’ inability to connect from the free-throw line and possibly taking him out with the Wizards repeatedly fouling him on purpose and Rivers responded:
"You want me to take Ben Simmons off the floor? No. He's pretty good. I'll pass on that suggestion."
Rui Hachimura dropped 20 points for the Wizards in the victory. He also grabbed 13 rebounds.
"He's growing up, right in front of our eyes," Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said.
Hachimura was a first-round draft choice of the Wizards in 2019.
Washington was able to avoid being swept for the first time in the playoffs since 2007 with the game four victory in front of 10,665 fans, which was 50 percent of the total capacity at their arena.
Bradley Beal scored 27 points for the Wizards, surpassing the 1,000 point mark for his playoff career. Russell Westbrook also recorded his 12th playoff triple-double.
Even without Embiid, the Sixers enter tonight’s contest as -6.5 point favorites to advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs. However, without Embiid, the Sixers are a much different team, which is why you should put your money on the Wizards against the spread tonight.