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Despite Joel Embiid’s big night, Wizards get past Sixers

Dec 27, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA;Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) shoots the ball as Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford (21) and Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma (33) defend in the first quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis collected 24 points and 10 rebounds as the host Washington Wizards overcame Joel Embiid’s 48-point performance in a 116-111 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.

Bradley Beal scored 19 points and Kyle Kuzma and Rui Hachimura each added 14 to send the Wizards to their third win in four games following a 10-game losing skid.

Corey Kispert, Daniel Gafford and Monte Morris each had eight points, and Deni Avdija added seven off the bench in his return from a two-game absence due to lower back soreness.

Embiid made 17 of 32 shots from the floor and 13 of 14 from the free-throw line for the 76ers, who were unsuccessful in overcoming a double-digit first-half deficit. As a result, they saw their season-high, eight-game winning streak come to a halt.

Philadelphia’s James Harden recorded 26 points and 13 assists and Tobias Harris added 15 points.

Harden made three straight free throws, converted a three-point play and added a driving layup as the 76ers whittled a 16-point deficit down to two at 101-99 with 8:13 remaining in the fourth quarter. Harden later set up Embiid for an alley-oop dunk to bring Philadelphia within one at 108-107 with 2:59 to play.

Porzingis countered with a 3-pointer before Embiid made a free throw to keep the Sixers within one possession with 2:05 remaining.

Morris drained a pair of free throws and Porzingis added one to push Washington’s lead to 114-108 with 11.9 seconds left. Embiid responded with a 3-pointer to halve the deficit with six seconds left, but Avdija sank a pair of free throws to cap the scoring.

Hachimura made four baskets as Washington scored 23 of the first 35 points of the second quarter to secure a 55-42 lead. Philadelphia answered with a modest run as Embiid sandwiched layups around Harris’ three-point play, however, Beal drained a step-back 3-pointer to push the Wizards’ advantage to 67-56 at halftime.

Beal recorded 11 points as the Wizards overcame both nine turnovers and an early scoring surge by Embiid to claim a 32-30 lead at the end of the first quarter. Embiid made 6 of 9 shots from the floor and 4 of 4 from the free-throw line to finish with 16 points in the frame.

–Field Level Media