WASHINGTON — Talk about a night to remember ... or in the 76ers’ case, one to forget.
Not only did they miss an opportunity to sweep the Washington Wizards, Joel Embiid left the game with what the team called right knee soreness. And there was another incident involving a fan as the Wizards managed to take a 122-114 Game 4 victory Monday night at the Capital One Arena.
As a result, the Sixers take a lead of three games to one into Wednesday’s Game 5 of the NBA’s best-of-seven playoff series.
Rui Hachimura gets this. The Wizards power forward had his best game of the postseason, finishing with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Thirteen of his points came in the second half on 5-for-6 shooting.
Mike Scott gets this. The Sixers reserve post player was forced into action after Embiid was sidelined. That didn’t bode well for Philly. Scott missed all four of his shot attempts, including three three-pointers, en route to being held scoreless in 16 minutes, 37 seconds. Undersized, he also had a tough time defending the Wizards’ post players.
Best defensive performance
This goes to Daniel Gafford. The Wizards center finished with a season-high five blocked shots while getting his first start of the playoff series. The second-year player also had one steal.
This goes to the Wizards blocking 12 shots. In addition to Gafford’s five, Bradley Beal and Robin Lopez each had two. Davis Bertans, Hachimura, and Ish Smith also all blocked a shot.
This goes to the Ben Simmons shooting 5-for-11 from the foul line. Some may argue that this was a solid performance for him, considering he went a combined 0-for-9 in the first three games.
Simmons went 4-of-8 in the fourth quarter as the Wizards went back to Hack-a-Ben with the score knotted at 108 with 3:15 remaining. While he was splitting free throws, the Wizards were gradually extending their lead. Simmons’ time at the foul line took away the momentum the Sixers had while battling back from a 14-point deficit. The All-Star never stepped up to make two in a row.
Fan gone wild award
This goes to the fool who ran on the court to get 15 seconds of fame late in the second half. He was tackled by an officer, rushed off the court and handcuffed.
Worst of the worst
This goes to Embiid leaving the game late in the first quarter. The MVP finalist was ruled out at intermission with right knee soreness. This came after he fell on his back after having his shot blocked in the first quarter by Lopez. A replay showed that Embiid’s knee buckled on the fall. He remained in the game for a few minutes before heading to the locker room.