It is Sunday 1 PM and Philly sports fans are sitting in front of their TVs awaiting the big game. No, this is not an NFL Sunday. Sixers start their dominant run in the 2021 playoffs. The Sixers have a slow and bumpy start but have a big finish.
The First Half
Game 1 of the Wizards and Sixers starts in a rough fashion. The 1st quarter saw Embiid getting in some foul trouble. He accumulates two on some questionable calls. Dwight Howard has to fly in and take on a larger portion of the quarter than expected. Tobias Harris and newcomer George Hill had the bulk of the points for the SIxers. The Wizards get into a flow and end up with the lead at the end of the first, 28-27. Wizards showing some defensive power.
Sixers return in the second with more energy …and Embiid on the court for a short time. Hill comes off the bench and starts contributing right away. Embiid picks up a third foul on another questionable call. Tobias continues to shine in the second half. He piles up 28 points before the end of the second quarter. Seth Curry takes a spill and has to be taken off the court. Tyrese Maxey gets a chance for some playoff minutes while Curry is out. He grabs 2 points and draws the foul adding 3 points to the rookie’s playoff experience. Dwight Howard stepping up while getting more minutes than he even could expect. The Wizards are getting a full team effort. Bertrans, Beal, Len, and Westbrook putting up 10 plus points in the first half. Most coming when Embiid was off the floor. 61-62 Wizards at the half.
The Second Half
Seth Curry returns in the second half with a three-pointer off the pass from Simmons. Sixers’ energy is picked up but the transition defense is still in question. Philly goes on a run and takes a seven-point lead off of Curry’s second 3 pointer of the afternoon. Embiid does what he does and starts frustrating the Wizard’s defense. Tobias breaks his post-season record with 33 points. His previous record was 29. The third comes to a close with Sixers up by 6, 99-93.
In the 4th quarter, the Sixers continue to keep the Wizards at bay. Seth Curry continues to tally up points. Sixers outwork the Wizards who were having problems landing shots. Who doesn’t love seeing Westbrook so mad? He draws another frustration foul.
Embiid shows why he is the MVP candidate. When he was on the floor he was unguardable. Embiid called for an offensive foul with just a little more than a minute left in the game. Doc Rivers challenges the call but ultimately loses it. With a 5 point lead and less than 45 seconds, the pressure is turned up to 11. Simmons is fouled and misses both free throws. Russell Westbrook steps out and it officially reviewed. The WIzards lose their challenge. Westbrook missed his three and Embiid is fouled getting his 30th point. Harris knocks 2 more down. The Sixers are victorious with a 125-118 score over the Wizards.
By the Numbers
Embiid scores 30 points in only 30 minutes. Tobias Harris has an all-around great game. Toby posts 37 points, 2 assists, and 6 defensive rebounds. Simmons has only 6 points but has 15 assists, 8 offensive rebounds, and 7 defensive rebounds. Seth Curry was 3-4 from beyond the arc and 15 points on the afternoon. Hill was a silent killer coming off the bench with 11 points.
Beal got his 33 points and Westbrook posted 16 points. It was a slow start for the Sixers but a big finish for the 1-0 lead in the series. Game 2 is Wednesday at 7 PM followed by Edge of Philly Sports Live at 9:30 PM.