clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Embiid drops 50, Sixers escape D.C. with tight win over Wizards

The Sixers couldn’t buy a three and their defense left a lot to be desired, but Joel Embiid poured in 50 and dragged his team to win over the Wizards.

Philadelphia 76ers v Washington Wizards Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Welcome back, well, everybody.

The Sixers got back in the win column when they knocked off the Wizards 131-126 Wednesday night. After missing the past two games, Joel Embiid dropped 50 points for the first time this season.

He did it shooting 19-of-28 from the floor while also adding 12 rebounds and seven assists.

Tyrese Maxey, who also missed a game due to illness, dropped 26 points on an even 10-of-20 shooting on the night.

The most notable return was Kelly Oubre Jr., who played just over 19 minutes in his first game since Nov. 10. Oubre shot 5-of-8 from the field for 12 points — 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter

Here are some thoughts at the buzzer.

First Quarter

  • Well, Embiid was certainly in control of this one from the opening tip, at least offensively. He scored nine of Philly’s first 11 points on his way to a 15-point first. It was so easy for him he could literally just flip the ball up over his head once he got the seal.
  • It took the other guys on both teams some time to catch up however. Embiid’s teammates started the game shooting just 2-of-10 from the floor. Neither team made a three-pointer until seven minutes into the frame, a common side effect of long layoffs in the NBA.
  • Kelly Oubre Jr. made his return to the court! The bench guys only checked in for the last couple of minutes of the quarter. Oubre got himself on the board by cutting down the baseline where Maxey found him for the dunk. He did get beat by Bilal Coulibaly for an and-1, but it’s still remarkable to see him back on the court so fast. The Sixers found themselves trailing by four after one.

Second Quarter

  • The Sixers decided to open up the quarter with an all-bench lineup and it didn’t go great. Missing their first 13 threes made the Wizards feel pretty comfortable sitting in a zone. With Oubre just trying to feel his way back into things, that bench unit didn’t even have the fire power to get a basket against this defense.
  • De’Anthony Melton making the first Sixers three of the game gave the team a brief breath of life. Until that point Philly looked like they were attempting every closeout with a “do I have to?” approach. They snapped out of it to go on 11-0 run and get back in the game.
  • Outside of that run, the Wizards just had no difficulty getting shots, especially at the rim. They shot 54.9% in the half and outscored the Sixers 44-34 in the paint. Outside of a couple of contests from Embiid the effort was non-existent.
  • Philly couldn’t buy a shot from outside. They were 2-of-16 from downtown in the half. Of course this was the second. Maxey banking this in made the Sixers very lucky to be down just two points at the break.

Third Quarter

  • While the offense certainly looked better coming out of the half, Philly didn’t exactly flip the switch on the defensive end — in fact, somehow it seemed to get worse. The Wizards scored on eight of their first 12 trips down the floor. So many times a missed rotation left Embiid to be the only one to close out on a shooter in the corner. They were just sleepwalking on that end the whole night.
  • If there was one flaw in Embiid’s insanely efficient night, he was a bit careless with the ball. He turned it over three times in the first and two more ugly ones to start the third. He got himself back on track with four assists in the third, the first being that between-the-legs feed he’s been working on with Maxey. Embiid singlehandedly kept pace with he Wizards, keeping them within striking distance.
  • Finally cobbling enough stops together, the Sixers managed to put themselves back in front and hold a four-point lead at the end of the third. Just like Friday night in Boston, it was a Patrick Beverley three-ball that put them ahead.

Fourth Quarter

  • There’s still a lot of moving pieces, but Marcus Morris Sr. being ahead of Robert Covington in the rotation like he was tonight is pretty wild. Covington played only four minutes in the second quarter and not at all in the fourth. This is only one game after Covington’s best game this season!
  • Not only is Oubre back on the floor, but he is already back to being super useful for this team. He stopped a brief Wizards run with a put-back dunk, his first of two dunks in the quarter. He finished an and-1 and knocked down a corner three to give Philly the slightest of breathing room.
  • It’s a good thing Oubre stepped up, because this was another brutal outing from Tobias Harris. The concerning thing is not his six points on 3-of-9 shooting, it’s the fact that he only attempted one three-pointer. One. Everyone is going to have off nights in this league, but you can't have a wing playing off of Joel Embiid who only takes one three in a game.
  • The Sixers will head back home for their first game at The Center since last Monday. They’ll take on Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks at 7 p.m. ET.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liberty Ballers Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Philadelphia 76ers news from Liberty Ballers