Joel Embiid might as well had said, “D.C., bring the noise!”
The 76ers center knows he’s going to get booed at Capital One Arena in Games 3 and 4 of the opening-round playoff series against the Washington Wizards. He’s actually welcoming it.
“I love playing on the road,” he said, “because people boo you and they talk trash. And for me personally, it makes me play even better just because I want to shut their mouths.”
The Sixers take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series into Saturday’s Game 3 after impressive victories at the Wells Fargo Center. This marked the first time they won the first two games in a series since their opening round against the then-New Orleans Hornets in 2003.
“I’m glad we took care of business at home,” Embiid said. “So now, it’s time to go on the road and try to finish there.”
Game 3 is set for 7 p.m. Saturday and Game 4 is 7 p.m. Monday. If necessary, Game 5 would be Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center. Game 6 would be June 4 in D.C. and Game 7 would be June 6 in Philly.
The last time the Sixers swept a playoff series was in a best-of-five opening round against the Milwaukee Bucks in 1991.
D.C. officials on Monday granted Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Wizards and Capital One Arena, a waiver to increase crowd capacity at the arena from 25% to 50% -- nearly 10,000 fans -- ahead of Washington’s upcoming home games.
The Sixers had 50% capacity -- 11,160 -- in Games 1 and 2 at the Wells Fargo Center.
Embiid is averaging 26.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists through the first two games. He’s shooting 60.7% from the field, including 42.9% on three-pointers. Embiid has also made 15 of 16 foul shots.