Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons Lead 76ers to Game 2 Rout over Bradley Beal, Wizards

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 27, 2021

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 26: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates a dunk during the first quarter against the Washington Wizards during Game Two of the Eastern Conference first round series at Wells Fargo Center on May 26, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

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. 


Ben Simmons with the handle and strong slam on NBA TV! #NBAPlayoffs @WashWizards 20@sixers 27 pic.twitter.com/jJxPAL7jec

NBC Sports Philadelphia @NBCSPhilly

This is officially The Ben Game™ pic.twitter.com/NuJMbq37Tq

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

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:


On the run, falling down, Joel Embiid gets it to drop before the half on NBA TV!@WashWizards 57@sixers 71<br><br>➡️: https://t.co/VexAprpikW pic.twitter.com/b1nN1iLApQ

NBC Sports Philadelphia @NBCSPhilly

MVP-level celebration, no doubt about it 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/VGZ3DyBngu

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.

Key Stats

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. 

Candace Buckner @CandaceDBuckner

Ben Simmons apparently doesn't like it when you y'all talk about him not scoring points

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck

Will be tough for Washington to take games in this series if Simmons is this good and Westbrook is this bad

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. 


Bradley Beal getting to his spot 😤 pic.twitter.com/zgwRDROZ3F

NBCSports Washington @NBCSWashington

Beal trolls so hard 😂 pic.twitter.com/fzlNsq3qCG

Adam Malamut @mutsack

Bradley Beal is a bad man but Bradley Beal is on a bad team

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. 

Chase Hughes @ChaseHughesNBCS

Davis Bertans has fouled out. His Game 2 numbers:<br><br>23 minutes, 0 points, 0-4 3PT, 2 rebounds, 6 fouls

Chase Hughes @ChaseHughesNBCS

Davis Bertans is the first player to foul out scoreless in a playoff game in six years.

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. 

What's Next?

Game 3 will be on Saturday night in Washington at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN).