WASHINGTON — There is something about playing here for the 76ers.
The nation’s capital is where they come to lose to the Washington Wizards. Thursday night was no different.
Washington defeated the Sixers, 119-113, at the Capital One Arena. It was the Sixers’ 10th consecutive loss to the Wizards in D.C. They’ve lost 23 of their last 29 games here.
So what’s the problem?
“I have no idea,” Joel Embiid said of the Sixers being winless here since 2013.
But this was a perfect opportunity to end the losing streak.
The Wizards (7-13) came into the matchup losers of three straight and five of six games. While they ranked third in the league in scoring (118.9 points per game), they gave up the most points (122.9) heading into the game.
The Sixers (15-7) even had an 11-point lead late in the first quarter, before suffering arguably their worst loss of the season.
Tobias Harris, who led all scorers with a season-high 33 points, thought they let their foot off the gas after taking the double-digit lead.
“That’s something we as a team have to get better at,” Harris said. “We got to get better at, when we get a lead in a game, of being able to stick with what’s working and really push that lead, to be able to go to the next level."
Instead, the Sixers had their four-game winning streak stopped and suffered just their second loss in 10 games. But it marked their seventh loss in their last nine road games. They are 10-0 at home.
“I have no idea,” coach Brett Brown said about his squad’s struggles on the road.
The Sixers tried to battle back from a 15-point, fourth-quarter deficit, pulling within 5 points twice late in the game.
The second time came on Harris’ two foul shots with 2 minutes, 31 seconds remaining. But that was a close as they would get.
Embiid scored 26 points and had a game-high 21 rebounds, but he turned the ball over eight times. Ben Simmons had 17 points, 10 assists, three steals, and seven of the team’s 21 turnovers.
The Wizards scored 30 points off turnovers.
“You’re trying to help those guys get better,” Brown said about Embiid and Simmons. Committing a lot of turnovers are "not going to win anything. It won’t win any game that matters, let alone a regular-season game.
“It’s not going to put us in any position where we can close out a game," Brown said. "We have to do better in that area, and I got to help.”
Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura had a team-high 27 points. Bradley Beal added 26 points and 10 rebounds, while reserve Davis Bertans had 25, making 7 of 13 three-pointers. He shot 9-for-16 from the field.
Bertans scored 22 of his points in the first half. He didn’t miss a shot until his first attempt in the third quarter — a three-point shot — at the 6:17 mark. That came after he went 8-for-8 overall — including six three-pointers — in the first half. But he cooled off after intermission.
Meanwhile, Hachimura scored 19 of his points in the first half.
Sixers shooting guard Josh Richardson missed his fourth consecutive game with right hamstring tightness. Furkan Korkmaz started in Richardson’s place for the fourth straight game.
Richardson recently returned to the court for individual workouts.
“I’m still just trying to get all the way comfortable and get my strength back again,” he said. “So, we’ll just keep seeing [if there’s more progress] in the next couple of days, hopefully.”
Richardson knows he was to be careful not to rush back.
“A hamstring is one of those things you can think that they are fine and you take one wrong step and it’s a week or two-week step back,” he said. “So I don’t really want to get into that whole cycle.”
This is the first time the fifth-year veteran has dealt with a hamstring injury. And the uncertainty that comes with that type of injury can be frustrating.
“It’s just one of those things that I just don’t really know where I’m at most of the time,” he said. “So it just always feels like I’m kind of tiptoeing, trying not to do too much.”