Grades for Sixers’ win over Wizards
If you like offense, Wednesday night’s game was for you.
The Sixers scored 82 points in the first half but then hung for dear life in a 141-136 win over the Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center.
Here are grades from a high-scoring affair.
Bradley Beal: A+(x60)
In case you didn’t know, Bradley Beal is really freaking good. Beal is one of the best scorers in the NBA and he showed why Wednesday. He had 32 points in the first half on his way to a career-high and tying a franchise record with 60. He single-handedly kept Washington, which at one point trailed by 21, in this one.
There may not have been much more the Sixers could’ve done to stop Beal. Maybe they could’ve trapped more and forced the ball out of Beal’s hands. Then again, the Sixers led this game almost wire to wire so perhaps it wasn’t worth allowing anyone else to get going. Perhaps Doc Rivers could’ve gone to Ben Simmons on him. After the game, Rivers mentioned he liked Simmons in a "roamer" role.
It was a hell of a performance by Beal, but the Sixers lived to tell about it.
Seth Curry: A+
Curry had an absurd shooting night, hitting six straight threes and seven straight shots overall to start the game. He had 20 points at the half. He finished with a season-high 28, including some huge baskets when the Wizards got back into the game in the fourth quarter.
In that second half, you saw Curry attack Washington’s closeouts with midrange jumpers and nice finishes around the rim. It’s not overstating it to say Curry’s play has helped transform the Sixers’ offense.
Joel Embiid: A+
Embiid got off to a rough start, scoring just one point in the first quarter. But give the All-Star center credit. He kept finding his teammates out of double teams (five assists) before warming to the task himself. He missed his first six shots and then went on to make his next six. The rough start and physical play against Thomas Bryant seemed to rile Embiid up.
In the fourth quarter, as the Sixers squandered what was once a 21-point lead, Embiid was a monster on both ends. He couldn’t be stopped in the post and hit a huge three with under two minutes left, finishing with a season-high 38 points (11 of 20, 13 of 13 from the line). He was also challenging shots at the rim, including a huge block on Ish Smith late. He added three blocks and three steals.
Ben Simmons: B+
It seemed like Simmons saw something in the way the Wizards played against him in the opener. Simmons not only got downhill but did well cutting and finding soft spots in Washington’s defense. Simmons was 5 of 5 in the first half for 12 points. He also had five assists.
While the scoring didn’t continue in the second half – save for a huge basket with under a minute left -- Simmons was still a huge part of the offense, finishing with 12 assists. His defense was ticked up a notch late as well.
Tobias Harris: B
Harris was quietly good again. The reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week is still playing decisively. While Harris let the game come to him Wednesday, he was aggressive when it did. He scored 19 points (8 of 16) and pulled down seven rebounds.
Shake Milton: B
After a couple of rough outings, Milton got off to a hot start. The Sixers’ sixth man didn’t just settle for outside shots. He got into the paint and got to the free throw line (6 of 8 from the line). Milton’s patience was on display as he navigated Dwight Howard screens well, keeping his defenders on his back. He finished with 19 points (6 of 9) in 20 minutes.