76ers sloppy defense and shooting struggles lead to loss against Wizards, 117-98.
Entering this afternoon, the 76ers were red hot, winning nine of their last ten games including big wins against the Celtics and Heat on a back-to-back over the weekend. After a quick day of rest the Sixers were back in action this afternoon against the Wizards down in DC.
The Wizards came into this matchup hovering just over .500 with a 22-21 record as the halfway point of the 2021-22 NBA season rapidly approaches. Washington had won three of their last four, and currently occupy the nine spot in the East standings.
Right out the gate this game looked lopsided, with the 76ers coming out very flat to start. Just a couple minutes into the opening quarter the Sixers stared down an 11-2 deficit thanks to poor shooting and five quick points from Bradley Beal.
The Sixers would rally back behind Joel Embiid’s half-court offense, especially with his ability to draw fouls. Wizard’s center Andrew Gafford would pick up two quick fouls on Joel, one of them being a charge call successfully challenged and overturned by Doc Rivers.
Unfortunately for Philly some early, undisciplined turnovers and the stellar shooting gave the Wizards a cushion back. Washington closed the opening frame up nine, 38-29. Bradley Beal didn’t take very long to get going against the Sixers team that knocked him out of the post-season last year, leading all scorers with eleven.
The start of the second quarter saw both teams go to the benches to shift or maintain the current flow. Right out the gate both squads would pick up separate technical fouls, with Thomas Bryant picking up the first for taunting Drummond after a made shot and Drummond getting the next for arguing with the refs later on. Georges Niang would continue his hot shooting streak from South Beach, knocking down his first two triples of the game.
Once the starters returned, the Wizards continued to bully the Sixers with inside-out offense to keep Philly outside of arms reach as halftime approached. The 76ers continued to give up tick-tacky fouls and sloppy offensive possessions despite Washington’s lax passing leading to a few turnovers in the second frame.
Joel Embiid would lead all 76ers scorers with 16, but he was on an island out there, with only seven points coming from Tobias Harris at the half.
Hot off back-to-back games with five made three-pointers Seth Curry had a much quieter half in DC. Curry did not attempt a three in the first two quarters, the first time I can recall that happening this season.
Seth did grab six points knocking down three of his four jumpers, but after two games with such great shooting from outside I expect him to put the ball up more. Regardless, his two late buckets in the second quarter helped trim the Wizards lead to six. The halftime score, 61-55 Washington.
The third quarter rolls around and much of what plagued the 76ers got right back to sloppy basketball. Back-to-back turnover possessions, tons of contested shots in the key and virtually no defense allowed the Wizards to get out ahead of the Sixers once again.
Tobias Harris would quickly pick up his fourth foul in the first few minutes of the third, forcing him to take a seat as the Washington lead balloons up to 13 mid-way through the third frame.
While by no means an excuse for the sloppy play of the 76ers, this was by far one of the worst officiated games of recent memory. That would boil over in the third where Joel Embiid was called for a offensive foul on a simple screen, which Doc Rivers would pick up a technical furiously arguing with the officials over.
Joel would get up to 30 points in the waning minutes of the third frame, but also four fouls as the 76ers continue to struggle defensively.
Through three quarters the 76ers simply could not help Joel Embiid. Tobias Harris and Seth Curry through three combined for half of Joel Embiid’s point total. Philly was an abysmal 6-of-17 from deep, including Furkan Korkmaz going 0-for-5 from downtown.
Joel would reach his eleventh road game with 30+ points in the third, but the Sixers would still trail Washington 91-83.
Silver lining, we got ourselves an Isiah Joe and-one poster that certainly got Kevin McCormick off his seat.
With the 76ers in striking distance, Tyrese Maxey did his best to get Philly back into the game heading into the fourth. Tyrese would score all ten points for the Sixers to open the fourth, notching him 17 points.
Keeping the 76ers in this one early in the fourth would be on the bench, who quickly racked up four team fouls not even three minutes into the final frame. That would include Tobias Harris’ fifth foul of the contest.
Starters would return down 13 with seven minutes left in the fourth., but the Wizards would only pull away further. A 13-4 run in the middle five minutes of the final frame by the Wizards combined with very cold shooting kept the 76ers out of the contest.
The best tell-tale stat about this loss, the 76ers had just two players finish in double figures while the Wizards had seven. 76ers drop their second contest against the Wizards, 117-98.
The 76ers were due a sloppy game after the previous nine wins in ten contests, and Washington took advantage. Philly will head back home to get a day of rest before completing their five game stint in a week hosting the Magic on Wednesday night.
Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch.