Their Game 4 victory on their home court Monday assured one thing: Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards will live to fight another day.
Another big loss in Saturday’s Game 3 pushed Washington to the brink as they took the floor on Monday down 3-0 in the series. But with their backs against the wall, the Wizards responded like they have so many times before this season with an inspiring performance in a close game to keep their season alive with a 122-114 win over the Sixers.
The Wiz were able to push the series to at least a fifth game thanks to some strong performances from Brad, Russell Westbrook, Robin Lopez and Rui Hachmiura. BB finished the game with 27 points — his 27th career 20-point playoff game — four rebounds, and four assists. The Wizards also took advantage of a Sixers team that was without their star big man Joel Embiid for much of the game. Hachimura had perhaps the most important game of his young career, showing off the two-way potential that made Washington take him in the lottery two years ago with a career playoff-high 20 points, while Lopez added 16 off the bench.
Washington also outrebounded Philly 57-48, led by 21 boards from Westbrook, good for his 12th career playoff triple-double, snapping a tie with Jason Kidd for third on the all-time list.
Still, despite the team getting such a great effort from so many different parties in Game 4, Brad knows that they still have a lot of work to do in order to get back into this series.
“We’re not going to win one game that equals four, so we literally just have to take it a day at a time and a game at a time,” BB said.
The Sixers started the game off strong looking to put the series to rest and building a double-digit lead just minutes into the game. The Wizards eventually leveled it out midway through the quarter thanks to Davis Bertans’ 12 points and three straight buckets from Lopez that cut the deficit to three to end the period.
In the second quarter, the Wizards attacked a Sixers team searching for answers after Embiid was ruled out for the rest of the game due to knee soreness. Lopez continued his strong interior scoring regardless of his defensive matchup by hitting all four of his attempts for eight points.
Despite going into the half down 61-60, Washington rode a great deal of momentum into the break after a 9-2 run in the final three minutes brought them within a point of the lead. That momentum ended up being huge for Washington in the third quarter, as Westbrook and Hachimura combined for 15 points and Brad got going with 10 points and two made threes to help the Wizards outscore the 76ers 32-19 in the quarter.
The Wiz started the fourth quarter with a 12-point cushion, but the Sixers quickly recovered and made it a game after a 10-1 run to start off the final period. Philly eventually tied the game up with 4:15 left, but head coach Scott Brooks managed to throw the 76ers off their rhythm by consistently fouling Ben Simmons and forcing him to beat them at the free-throw line. The gamble paid off for the Wiz, as Simmons went just 4-of-8 from the charity stripe while the Wizards offense continued to find ways to score on the other end.
The Wizards were able to put the game away in the final seconds thanks to some free throws from No. 3 and Westbrook as the Wizards won their first game of the series, 122-114.
Washington will get a chance to extend the series even further with a win in Game 5, but this time they’ll have to do it on the road in Philadelphia. Tip-off from Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday, June 2 is set for 7:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on NBATV.