Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons Lead 76ers to Game 2 Rout over Bradley Beal, WizardsMay 27, 2021
The Philadelphia 76ers are doing top-seed things.
Despite Bradley Beal's huge night, the Sixers went up 2-0 in their Eastern Conference first-round series vs. the Washington Wizards with a 120-95 win on Wednesday night.
Ben Simmons, criticized for his lack of scoring after Game 1 despite posting 15 rebounds and 15 assists in that contest, responded with 16 first-half points alone.
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Ben Simmons is the first 76ers player over the last 25 seasons to record multiple playoff halves with at least 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists (16-6-6 in first half tonight).<br><br>He also achieved the feat in Game 2 of the 2019 Eastern Conference First Round against the Nets. pic.twitter.com/bMpyzNK9Wf
And MVP finalist Joel Embiid had another big night, including one very... well, interesting celebration after a transition layup:
Things only got worse for Washington, as Russell Westbrook was forced to leave the game in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be an ankle injury and didn't return. That will be a major storyline to follow going forward.
The series now shifts to Washington, with the Wizards attempting to dig themselves out of a deep hole against the top seed in the East.
Ben Simmons, PHI: 22 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, two steals
Joel Embiid, PHI: 22 points, seven rebounds
Tobias Harris, PHI: 19 points, nine rebounds
Bradley Beal, WAS: 33 points
Russell Westbrook, WAS: 10 points (2-of-10 from the field), 11 assists, six rebounds
Rui Hachimura, WAS: 11 points, seven rebounds
Ben Simmons Answered The Haters
Doc Rivers couldn't believe Simmons took heat in Phily after he scored just six points in Game 1.
“Only in Philadelphia,” he told reporters. “If you guys don’t know the treasure you have by now, then shame on everyone because he’s been fantastic for us. He creates points every single night for us. When Ben was on the floor, we were really good."
There won't be any heat on Simmons after Wednesday's performance. He aggressively attacked the basket, hunted mismatches with guards in the post and was excellent, as usual, in transition.
When the Sixers get Wednesday's version of Simmons, they're nearly impossible to beat.
Bradley Beal Needs Someone Else To Step Up
Everyone knows Beal is going to get his. He's been doing that all season.
But who on the Wizards is going to step up to provide him some help?
The Wizards shot just 2-of-22 from three. Even before getting banged up in the second half, Westbrook was poor. Davis Bertans was downright awful.
Hachimura wasn't terrible, though if he's going to be your second-leading scorer in a playoff game... well, you probably aren't going to beat the top seed in the East.
The Wizards are in trouble. Not even Beal seems likely to save them.
Game 3 will be on Saturday night in Washington at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).