Complete blowouts have been (surprisngly) few and far between for the Sixers this year, but Philadelphia looked completely outmatched against the Wizards on Wednesday night. After leading by as many as 33 points, the Wizards came away with a 106-93 victory.
The Wizards never trailed at any point during the game, and it felt as though they dominated every facet.
Philadelphia seemed to hone in on stopping John Wall at the perimeter by having Nerlens Noel pressure the ball on pick & rolls. Wall may have finished with just 13 points (6-11) shooting, but dished out 15 assists. A good portion of those went to Marcin Gortat, who had a ton of space to operate in the restricted area. He finished with 23 points (10-11 FG), as well as 14 rebounds.
The Sixers were able to cut the lead to 15 points midway through the fourth quarter, large in part to a scoring barrage from Isaiah Canaan and Ish Smith. Smith finished with 23 points (11-17 FG), and Canaan had 17 points (7-12 FG, 4-9 3PT). However, it was just too little too late.
Washington shot a season-high 57.9% from the floor Wednesday, a pretty impressive feat considering Philadelphia boasts one of the better defenses. Head coach Brett Brown believed his team just happened to catch a playoff team hitting their stride.
"They're trying to find this rejuvination, this energy, trying to get ready for the playoffs," Brown said. "I think it's a fantastic experience for our guys. We knew this was going to be the landscape, but it's still hard to navigate."
Matched up against both Gortat and Nene Hilario, Nerlens Noel continued to hold his own once again. He finished the night with 14 points (5-7 FG, 4-7 FT),10 rebounds and 2 blocks. Regardless of the outcome, the rookie is just happy for the opportunity to continue to face top-tier NBA talent.
"I think it gives me great experiences moving on with this being my first year, having to guard the physicality of guys just gets my mind set," he said. "I just want to continue to get stronger and bigger so that I can dominate even more on the defensive end."
Philadelphia is back in action Saturday, as they travel to take on the Charlotte Hornets at 7:00 p.m.
- Isaiah Canaan sustained a right ankle sprain late in the fourth quarter and did not return to action. He was seen postgame with a set of crutches. Brett Brown had no further information on the injury.
- Philadelphia will wrap up their season series against Washington at home on April 8th.