76ers hold off Wizards behind big nights from Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons
Keith Pompey, STAFF WRITER
Updated: Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 10:57 PM
Call it the Brotherly Love celebration, Part Two.
The 76ers hosted another NBA game that was more like a party for the Eagles. The only difference was that Tuesday was a Super Bowl-winning celebration instead of a pep rally. And just like in Friday’s matchup, the Sixers fed off the energy, taking a 115-102 victory over the Washington Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers improved to 26-25 with their second win in three games, and handed the Wizards (31-23) their first loss in six games since losing all-star point guard John Wall to a knee injury.
“I feel like since they won, it kind of puts pressure on us,” said Sixers center Joel Embiid, who attended the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. “We’re young. It’s going to come. We just got to keep working together.
“We knew that the atmosphere was going to be amazing. So we wanted to come out and play up to the competition and give our all.”
Embiid did just that, finishing with 27 points to go with 12 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and just one turnover. Dario Saric added 20 points and seven rebounds. JJ Redick had 18 points while making 4 of 5 three-pointers. Ben Simmons added 15 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals.
Washington guard Bradley Beal led all scorers with 30 points.
The Sixers broke the game open with a 20-2 run to take a commanding 30-9 lead on T.J. McConnell’s 11-foot fadeaway jumper with 3 minutes, 9 seconds left in the first quarter. They went on to lead by as many as 22 points with 8:05 left in the second quarter.
The Sixers thrived off the environment created by the Eagles. Some of the Super Bowl champions served as bell ringers before the start of the game.
The team had a special video for the Eagles in the second quarter. The Sixers cheerleaders and dunk squad led the crowd in singing “Fly, Eagles, Fly” while waving green pom-poms. Sixers fans, many wearing Eagles jerseys, broke into 26 “E-A-G-L-E-S” chants throughout the game. There was even a faint “[Expletive] Tom Brady” chant in reference to the Patriots quarterback.
“I think them winning has been huge for the city, and for us,” Simmons said. “It motivates us to get there, and bring championships here, which is exciting.”
Robert Covington had a scare in the fourth quarter. The Sixers swingman had the wind knocked out of him while being kneed to the lower-middle chest and knocked to floor. He said everything was fine after the game.
Fultz speaks, sort of
Meanwhile, inactive Sixers rookie Markelle Fultz gave an interview to TNT sideline reporter Caron Butler, both of whom are represented by sports agent Raymond Brothers. The Sixers have not cleared the first overall pick in June’s draft to do interviews with local media because he is not a full participant at practice.
Tuesday’s game marked the 47th consecutive game Fultz has missed while trying to find his shooting touch.
“It’s been a long journey just trying to relearn it,” he told TNT. “I’m just going through it and I want to get back out there as quick as I can. But it’s been a slow process.”
The Sixers declined to make Fultz available to the local media after the game. The team said it learned at the last minute that Brothers had set the interview up with TNT. The team said that Fultz’s representatives wanted to make him available only to Butler.