76ers face Wizards, shoot for fifth straight win
The Philadelphia 76ers will look for their fifth consecutive victory when they host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
The Sixers, who own the league's best record at 6-1, also will be searching for their 20th straight home win.
Philadelphia swept the Charlotte Hornets in back-to-back games with a 118-101 victory Monday thanks in large part to Tobias Harris' 22 points. Harris has reached the 20-point mark in four straight games.
Joel Embiid added 14 points and 11 rebounds. He added four assists and looked more comfortable passing out of the double teams he constantly sees.
The Sixers added Seth Curry and Danny Green in the offseason, and having shooters on the perimeter has helped Embiid immensely.
"I think it's more so, I'm just rekindled with the love of passing," Embiid said. "Last year, at times, a double, a pass and you miss a lot of shots. You get frustrated and then you start thinking that you got to do everything by yourself because everybody's not making shots."
The Sixers have continued to make shots through the first seven games, including a season-best 16 3-pointers Saturday in a 127-112 win over the Hornets. If Embiid keeps improving with his passing, the Sixers will continue to thrive.
"I just think that I've been letting the game come to me," Embiid said. "There hasn't been a big change when it comes to spacing, compared to the last couple of years. It's just the shooters, and I just got to be a willing passer, and games like the last two games or the whole season, every game that I play, they keep doubling, triple-teaming me trying to take me out of the game. I just got to keep making the right passes."
After an 0-5 start, the Wizards have won consecutive games and will look for their third victory in a row.
The Wizards posted an impressive 123-122 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. Bradley Beal had 27 points and 10 rebounds and Russell Westbrook added 24 points and 10 assists.
Washington received a surprise lift from Thomas Bryant, who had 21 points and 14 rebounds. Bryant threw down the game-winning dunk with 14.9 seconds remaining.
Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said he was most proud of how his team responded with two victories after a winless start in the first five games.
"We've got some good players on our team that kept competing and kept figuring it out," Brooks said. "I thought we had a chance to extend the lead a couple times, but (Brooklyn) is a tough ... team that's ready for the championship this year with all that talent they have. They just keep coming with talent. But I thought we competed."
The Wizards have been searching for a third player to elevate their game to complement Beal and Westbrook. They may have found it in Bryant.
"Thomas has gotten better over the course of the years, just from being on the outside looking in and now being here daily," Westbrook said. "You can see how good he can really be if he can lock in and stay focused on winning. He's really good at bringing his energy, and the basketball stuff will take care of itself."
--Field Level Media
Updated January 5, 2021