One down, fifteen more to go.
After a week's rest, we saw the number one seed back on the court in front of the best fans in the world. The crowd at Wells Fargo Center was electric. The type that gets you so excited you want to run through a wall. What a blessing it is we will have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
The star of the afternoon was Tobias Harris. 37 points, 52% from the floor, 40% from deep. A playoff career-high. Tobi got his scoring started early as he ended the first half with 28. The evolution of Tobias's game from last year in the playoffs to now is insane. The way he became a reliable number two scorer alongside Joel is a huge reason why we are the first seed. It is really a joy to watch how Tobias was able to buy into Doc's system and play the best basketball of his career.
Joel Embiid scored 30 points while load managing. Getting in foul trouble early (due to some putrid officiating) only allowed Embiid to log 10 minutes in the first half. Embiid down the stretch was playing at his usual MVP form, putting the game away in the final three minutes.
Credit to the Wizards for making this game very competitive. The lead went back and forth throughout the game, and even when the Sixers held the lead for most of the 4th quarter, Washington never went away.
Ben Simmons played a really good game and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Yes, he only had 6 points, but his defense and playmaking basically won us this game. 15 assists and 15 rebounds is absurd, especially in a playoff game. His 0-6 from the free-throw line is unacceptable and I expect him to clean that up in the rest of the series.
Seth Curry scared all of us for a second as he went down with an injury before halftime. But, came out with a very inspired effort in the 2nd half, finishing the game with 15 points.
George Hill put on display exactly why we acquired him at the trade deadline. Coming off the bench and providing an immediate spark. Matisse Thybulle, Danny Green, Shake Milton, and Furkan Korkmaz all had quiet scoring nights, but this is largely due to Tobias Harris having the hot hand. Tyrese Maxey saw limited minutes, but he converted an and-one as soon as he entered the game.
Bradley Beal had a nice scoring night, but only hit one of his six three-point attempts. Russell Westbrook did not have his best performance. He did not look like his normal self during the 4th quarter and it could have cost his team the win.
Robin Lopez and Alex Len were at the center position for Washington and combined for just 18 points and 5 rebounds.
The Sixers have set themselves up to take total control of this series with a game one win. With 2 nights of rest, the 76ers will face off for game 2 of the series Wednesday night at 7 pm.