PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Josh Richardson added 21 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 125-108 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night. Ben Simmons had 14 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for the 76ers, who snapped a three-game losing streak overall and a two-game skid at home.
Bradley Beal had 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Wizards. Washington has lost three in a row and nine of 11. Isaiah Thomas added 20 points, but was ejected with 2:53 remaining for going into the stands.
Philadelphia suffered its first two home losses in its last two times out, Wednesday against Miami and Friday versus Dallas. Both teams used zone defenses that neutralized Philadelphia’s offense.
But the Wizards, playing without several key players, went to the zone sparingly and weren’t effective when they did.
Philadelphia took control with a 19-0 run over a nearly six-minute stretch in the second quarter, pushing a 34-30 advantage to 53-30 with 4:19 left in the half. Beal’s corner 3 with 1:40 left in the third got Washington as close as four, 84-80, but the 76ers scored the last four points of the quarter to take an 88-80 lead into the fourth.
The 76ers kept Washington at a distance throughout the fourth to improve to 15-2 at home.
Ish Smith, coming off a perfect performance in Washington’s 122-118 loss at Toronto on Friday, went scoreless in 20 minutes. He was 0 for 7 from the field, including 0 for 2 from beyond the arc, and missed both of his free-throw attempts. Smith scored 26 points while going 9 for 9 from the field, including 4 for 4 from 3-point range, as well as 4 for 4 from the free-throw line on Friday.
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said in the pregame that star point guard Simmons could have the biggest impact against a zone defense on the glass.
“I don’t see the zone issues, kind of strangely maybe, being pointed toward Ben as much,” Brown said. “Where I think Ben can have his greatest impact hurting a zone is being a live-footed, relentless, committed offensive rebounder.”
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