The Philadelphia 76ers won seven straight games coming into D.C. on Sunday, but the Washington Wizards ended that streak with a 109-94 victory at Capital One Arena.
The Wizards (35-25) shot 54 percent from the floor, including 12-for-25, or 48 percent, from the 3-point. In contrast, Philadelphia (32-26) only shot 36 percent and went 9-of-33 (27 percent) from deep.
“Our defense was on point,” said Wizards head coach Scott Brooks. “We made them miss a lot of shots. That’s what we have to continue to do.”
Brooks praised guard Bradley Beal’s perimeter defense on Sixers shooting guards J.J. Redick and Marco Belinelli, who were held to a combined 16 points off 5-for-20 shooting.
Beal led the Wizards with 24 points along with eight assists and five rebounds, but the team also got a spark off the bench from Kelly Oubre Jr., who scored 16 of his 19 points in the first half. He also blocked two shots and did a couple of pushups after Sixers guard Ben Simmons knocked him to the floor.
“He brings a lot of energy and a little of that ‘Wave Papi’ to the floor,” Beal said, referring to Oubre’s online alter ego. “He’s shooting the ball well. Defensively, he’s one of our best defenders, if not the best. Whenever he’s active and into the game, we love our chances.”
The Sixers, trailing by double-digits most of the way, got the deficit down to 100-92 with less than four minutes left, but a 7-0 Wizards run capped by a long jumper by Otto Porter Jr. effectively put the game away.
“We sort of reclaimed some energy,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said of his team’s late rally. “We sort of reclaimed some defense that enabled us to get out and goI give the Wizards a lot of credit. They made tough shots.”
Brooks isn’t worried about playoff implications, especially with another 22 games left in the regular season.
“We’re not worried about that right now, but it is a good win for us,” he said.
The two teams split the season series 2-2, with the home team winning each game.
A nationally televised audience witnessed the Wizards’ victory Sunday. The team will play another three games this week before a nationwide audience.
They will play a back-to-back Tuesday against the Milwaukee Bucks (33-26) and then in D.C. on Wednesday against the world champion Golden State Warriors (46-14).
Washington finishes the week on national TV at home against the Toronto Raptors (41-17).