Washington opened its season with a 113-107 loss in Philadelphia. Tonight, it returns to the City of Brotherly Love for a meeting with the league-leading 76ers.
Since the calendar turned to 2021, the Wizards have been perfect.
After topping the Minnesota Timberwolves by 21 points on New Year’s Day, Washington traveled to Brooklyn, New York, and edged the star-studded Nets by one.
Standing in its way tonight are the Philadelphia 76ers, whose 6-1 record ranks No. 1 in The Association.
When these teams faced off on Opening Night exactly two weeks ago, Bradley Beal dropped 31 points and Russell Westbrook put together his first triple-double in red, white and blue. But Joel Embiid’s 15 points over the final 12 minutes led a 40-point fourth quarter for the Sixers, who were victorious against Washington.
Philadelphia hasn’t lost at Wells Fargo Center since Dec. 20, 2019. While it has a new head coach and a revamped roster now, one thing is similar: Embiid put up 33 points in that 117-98 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
“He’s the focal point. The ball is going to Embiid on every single play,” Beal said about the Sixers’ center. “He’s a hassle down there.”
This season, Embiid is averaging 23.2 points and 12.3 rebounds, both of which lead the team.
The 76ers bested Charlotte Monday night, 118-101, completing a two-game sweep over Gordon Hayward and the Hornets. Their only loss this year came in Cleveland, falling to the Cavaliers, 118-94, on Dec. 27 after topping the Knicks the day before.
Tonight’s game is the third of Washington’s four-game road trip, where it snapped its season-opening five-game skid.
Beal scored 27 points in the win over Brooklyn — his lowest point total of the season. The Wizards’ shooting guard is averaging 30.6 points per game, good for third-best in the NBA behind Houston’s James Harden (33) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (32).
Westbrook continues to average a triple-double — 20.6 points, 11.2 rebounds and 11.8 assists.
After allowing 10 offensive rebounds against Philadelphia in the teams’ last meeting, Washington held Brooklyn to just seven. The Wizards grabbed 13 of their own misses, including one by Thomas Bryant in the final 30 seconds that led to his go-ahead slam.
All the action tips off at 7 p.m. and will be televised on NBC Sports Washington and NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Wizards: 2-5 (13th in East)
76ers: 6-1 (1st in East)
Season series: Philadelphia leads 1-0
Odds: Philadelphia is a six-point favorite
How to Watch and Listen
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, 7 p.m. Wells Fargo Center
TV: NBC Sports Washington and NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: WFED 1500 AM (Washington, D.C.)