The Philadelphia 76ers will be looking for their third consecutive road victory when they visit the Washington Wizards on Friday.
The Sixers were impressive in a 127-105 win Thursday at Chicago without All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, who were out due to COVID-19 protocols. Embiid potentially could play Friday, but the earliest Simmons can return to the team would be Saturday.
“It was a big win for us with those two guys out,” Sixers coach Doc Rivers said. “You can win your first game on the road (after the All-Star break) and that says a lot about your team.”
Tobias Harris led the way with 24 points, Dwight Howard added 18 points and 12 rebounds and Furkan Korkmaz had 16 points. However, it was Tony Bradley who delivered a surprising 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting to go along with three blocked shots in 22 minutes.
Bradley was making his first start since Jan. 31 and only his second of the season.
“I just knew I had to bring energy and effort,” Bradley said on the postgame interview on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“He works every single day on his body and his skill,” Rivers added.
Matisse Thybulle shot 5 of 5 and chipped in with 13 points with a career-high-tying five steals. Though Thybulle stepped into the starting lineup for Simmons, the Sixers’ bench was still strong, outscoring Chicago’s reserves 55-33.
“I thought we just played under control throughout the game,” Rivers said.
The Wizards will be hoping to rebound after a disappointing 127-112 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.
All-Star Bradley Beal — who is questionable for the game against the Sixers due to left knee soreness — led the way with 21 points but shot just 6 of 22. Russell Westbrook added 20 points and 10 assists.
Beal was 1 of 8 from beyond the arc.
“They dared us to make shots,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “Until we start making shots consistently from three, they are going to put a lot of bodies on Beal.”
Davis Bertans, who contributed 13 points, has been consistent for the Wizards all season. In fact, Bertans has dropped in at least two 3-pointers in 19 consecutive games.
However, the Wizards were flat for the most part against the Grizzlies, leaving their head coach disappointed, especially with the defensive effort.
“It’s putting our head down,” Brooks said. “We miss a shot, it’s like the end of the world for some of our guys. Our transition, our balance wasn’t good tonight. We know we have a couple of guys — Russell’s one of the big-time drivers in the league. When he’s driving to the rim, he’s one of the best at doing that. His momentum, whether he makes or misses that, is going to go toward the baseline.
“We got to get other guys to lock in, we need everybody. We’ve got a tough stretch of games here, we can’t win with one or two guys, three guys. We need all 15 guys mentally, physically, emotionally, we can’t keep getting these technical fouls. We’ve got to play much better than we did (Wednesday).”
–Field Level Media