The Washington Wizards were in Philadelphia on Wednesday night, which was for the best given what transpired during the day in the nation’s capital as the U.S. Capitol building was stormed by pro-Trump terrorists who occupied the building for four-plus hours in an effort to stop the certification of election results.
The NBA chose to continue with games on Wednesday night, including the Wizards facing the Sixers, as players chose to play after spending the day, like most everyone in the country, watching what was unfolding in Washington and reacting in real time — with many calling out the hypocrisy of the very different police response to an actual insurrection compared to Black Lives Matter protests over the summer. Heat and Celtics players even issued a statement saying they chose to play to provide entertainment for the people, but also wanted to make sure they kept speaking out on injustices.
In Philly, Bradley Beal and Joel Embiid certainly put on quite the show as the Wizards star guard put up a career-high 60 points, but it wasn’t enough to take down the Sixers who got a 141-136 win behind 38 points from Embiid.
Beal did most of his damage in the first three quarters of play, as he had 57 going into the final quarter and had everyone thinking about an historic type of night.
— NBA (@NBA) January 7, 2021
He rested for almost half of the quarter, though, as Scott Brooks rode with his three point guard lineup as they helped finish erase what was once a 21-point deficit to take the lead in the fourth. Beal returned but was unable to find the hot hand he’d become engulfed in in the third, finishing with “just” 60 points on 20-of-35 shooting (7-for-10 from three) with five assists and seven rebounds. As the Sixers found ways to get just enough stops late, Washington was unable to keep pace and Philly pulled away for the win.
That was largely the result of the play of Embiid and Seth Curry, as the newest member of the Sixers had 28 for his best night yet with his new team, hitting 6-of-7 from three-point range, all of those threes coming in the first half.
Seth Curry (20 PTS) goes 6-6 from 3 as PHI puts up 82 first-half points on NBA League Pass. pic.twitter.com/16hBlNwqTE
— NBA (@NBA) January 7, 2021
Embiid did a lot of the closing work for the Sixers, most notably this three-point play in a tie game followed by a great look to Ben Simmons out of a double team to help seal it.
Chemistry play from the Sixers here late. Simmons clears the side out to run P&R with Embiid. Watch how Embiid takes two steps like he's coming and then just cuts backdoor for the lob. This is where the awareness piece has to kick in for Bryant. pic.twitter.com/16xGAYbRIF
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) January 7, 2021
— Italo Santana (@BulletClubIta1) January 7, 2021
The All-NBA center finished the night with 38 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals, and three blocks, doing a little bit of everything for a Philly team that needed all of it against the offensive onslaught from Beal. The win moves the Sixers to 7-1 on the season as they continue their hot start, and despite the best efforts of Beal, Washington falls to 2-6.