Embiid, Sixers top Wizards
PHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and the 76ers helped the city of Philadelphia continue to celebrate by leading from start to finish in a 115-102 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
Dario Saric added 20 points and J.J. Redick had 18 for the 76ers, who snapped Washington’s five-game winning streak while playing in front of a raucous crowd still in a tizzy over the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots.
Bradley Beal scored 30 points for the Wizards, who lost their first game since fellow All-Star John Wall had arthroscopic surgery on his troublesome left knee.
It looked like half the crowd was clad in Eagles green, and fans broke out into several loud chants of “E-A-G-L-E-S!” as the party continued 48 hours after Philadelphia won its first Lombardi Trophy.
Fans gave a standing ovation to Eagles offensive linemen Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Stefen Wisniewski and Jason Peters when they rang the ceremonial Liberty Bell before tipoff.
The 76ers seemed to feed off the emotion.
Philadelphia took control early, scoring 22 of the first 29 points, and led by as many as 22 in the opening half before settling for a 65-55 halftime lead.
The 76ers pushed the advantage to 19 points on Embiid’s 3-pointer that made it 78-59 with just under nine minutes left in the third. Washington again pulled within 10 points, 94-84, at the end of the period.
But Embiid’s outside shooting gave Philadelphia breathing room again when his 3-pointer from the top of the key made it 100-84 with 10:16 left.
The Wizards managed to get within single digits in the final five minutes, but they never seriously threatened.
Embiid and Justin Anderson attended Sunday’s Super Bowl, alternately watching the game from a suite and the stands. In addition to the offensive linemen, Eagles cheerleaders and mascot Swoop helped rile up the crowd. Philadelphia will play its next four games at home and doesn’t hit the road until Feb. 22 at Chicago.
Philadelphia rookie Markelle Fultz told TNT’s Caron Butler during an in-game interview that he expects to be a better player upon his return from a shoulder injury that has sidelined him all season.