After the Sixers had built a 21-point second quarter lead, that old familiar feeling started creeping back in the Wells Fargo Center, as the Wizards ripped off a 12-0 run to cut the deficit down to single digits with 5:49 remaining in the half. The Sixers, however, responded in brilliant fashion, and by the time the first half came to a close, the score was 68-46 in favor of the home team.
In the end, it was the second straight game where the Sixers coasted to an easy victory, defeating the Wizards 123-98. The game was well in hand by the midway point of the third quarter, and Brett Brown was able to get his stars some much needed rest - Joel Embiid played only 22 minutes (and still managed to be a +30), while Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons both logged only 25 minutes.
The Wizards allow the highest percentage of opponent offensive rebounds in the league, and the Sixers took full advantage of them on the boards - winning the rebounding battle 58-42 while grabbing 17 offensive boards.
On a night where the scoring was well balanced for the Sixers, Ben Simmons was able to steal the spotlight with some furious jams and nifty dimes, finishing with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Outside of that quick run in the second quarter, there wasn’t much that went right for Washington, as the Sixers beat them to every loose ball and were able to get out and run in transition early and often. Wizards star John Wall was just 4-15 from the field for 11 points in the game.
Also of note, Sixers two-way rookie Shake Milton made his NBA debut tonight, notching 5 points and 2 assists in 11 minutes of action. Milton was hot coming into this one, just a few days removed from a 32-point performance in the G League for the Delaware Blue Coats.
Coming up next for the Sixers is a visit from the 13-8 Memphis Grizzlies at 6:00 PM on Sunday evening. One of the surprise teams of the season, the Grizz defeated a shorthanded Sixers team, 112-106 in OT back on November 11, the same day the Jimmy Butler trade was finalized. We’ll see how the rematch plays out with the teams closer to full strength.