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Joel Embiid erupts for 48 as Sixers crush Wizards for 5th straight win

Joel Embiid only needed three quarters to score 48 points and the Sixers cruised to their fifth straight win.

Washington Wizards v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Forty-eight points in 30 minutes of action is impressive no matter who the opponent.

The Sixers picked up their fifth win in a row by blowing out the Washington Wizards on Monday night, 146-128. Joel Embiid had his first explosion of the season, going for 48 points, 11 boards and six assists in three quarters of work.

Tyrese Maxey set a career-high in assists with 11, and also scored 22 points. Nic Batum impressed in his Sixers debut, shooting 4-of-5 from the field for 11 points.

Here are some thoughts at the buzzer.

First Quarter

  • This game opened with the exact amount of intensity you would expect for a November game against the Wizards. No one seemed interested in picking up Daniel Gafford in the dunker spot, giving him four of the easiest baskets of his career to start the game.
  • Philly didn’t look much better on the offensive side of the ball, save for Tobias Harris, who has been so good at going into contact so far this year. He had 10 points in the opening quarter, getting to the free throw line four times.
  • There were plenty more changes to the rotation tonight as Nic Batum did make his first appearance for the Sixers, checking in late in the first and knocking down a couple of threes. Jaden Springer and Furkan Korkmaz continued to see first quarter minutes as well, but Robert Covington and Marcus Morris did not see the floor in the first half. Even after a sleepy start the Sixers held a nine-point lead after one.

Second Quarter

  • What immediately stood out about Batum was how much he moved off the ball and how little time he needed to get his jumper off. Every shooter the Sixers have had since JJ Redick have been stationary, spot-up shooters. Batum certainly brings more than that.
  • The whole team shot well from deep in the first half, and no one needed it more than De’Anthony Melton. He came in tonight shooting 27 percent from three. That’s been concerning as Melton is one of those players who is oddly worse at finishing the closer he gets to the basket. He made his first four attempts from three tonight, shooting 4-of-5 in the half.
  • Shooting over 50 percent from the field and over 45 percent from three, the Sixers had already put it in cruise control not long into the second. Embiid sleepwalked to a 19-point half, tied with Kyle Kuzma for the game high. He had his midrange jumper falling again after having a couple shaky shooting games. The Sixers led by 17 at halftime.

Third Quarter

  • The Wizards went four minutes into the second half before missing a shot and were still unable to make it a dent in the Sixers’ lead — it actually grew during this stretch. That’s how in control the Sixers were at that part of the game.
  • Maxey and Embiid were taking this time to refine their pick-and-roll this quarter, as they pretty much spammed it every time down the floor, and the two got whatever they wanted to on the left side of the floor.
  • The Wizards continue to shoot it well in the third, finishing at 60 percent from the field in the quarter, but they were only able to work it down to a 12-point lead. Embiid’s 19 first-half points may have been quiet, but the 29 he scored in the third certainly wasn’t. 29 points is the most any Sixer has had in one quarter since the 1996-97 season, per Sixers stats.
  • Another debut tonight as Marcus Morris checked in for the first time late in the third. It’s hard to call them non-garbage time minutes, but the crowd gave the Philly native a pretty loud ovation regardless. Philly led by 22 after three.

Fourth Quarter

  • It was odd to not see any of Robert Covington until the fourth. Nick Nurse was certain he would play tonight, so it was surprising to see him not get any real minutes. But with Korkmaz, Springer and Batum now all in the mix, Nurse isn’t going to be able to keep all of these guys in the rotation. More importantly though, Covington has once again committed to his role of “hype man while the opposing team is shooting free throws in the second half.”
  • The Sixers will have quite the test to make it six in a row. They’ll wrap up this homestand Wednesday when they’ll take on the Boston Celtics at 7 p.m. ET.

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