Washington Wizards vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Preview

Game Info: 6:00 ET, CSN

Preview: The 76ers enter tonight’s contest feeling good about themselves for the first time in a while, but there is still work to be done. Fresh off a 104-97 win over Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, the Sixers look to win their second straight game for the first time since defeating the Kings and Magic in early February. With Nick Young sidelined with a sprained ankle, Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner stepped up and played complete games. Holiday netted 27 points and dished out 7 assists while Turner narrowly missed his first NBA triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 9 dimes. Thad Young added 14 points and 16 rebounds and looked fully engaged for the first time since returning from a hamstring injury.

The Wizards are on a tear of late having won 7 of their last 11 games with six of those wins coming against playoff teams. John Wall has played well in his return action but the biggest reason for Washington’s recent success is the emergence of rookie Brad Beal. Averaging 20.8 points per game over his last eight, Beal is a streaky shooter who found his stroke in Milwaukee on Febraury 11 when he scored 28 points on 4-5 from behind the arc. If Doug Collins decides to implement the same starting lineup that worked against Golden State, Royal Ivey will begin the game defending John Wall, leaving Jrue Holiday to chase Beal all night.

Matchup to watch: Spencer Hawes and Emeka Okafor. Last time the two teams met, Okafor went for 15 points and 17 rebounds and really had his way down low for most of the game. For Philly to have a shot in this one, Hawes must contain the Wizards’ big man.

Prediction: Its tough to trust that Philadelphia will come out with the same intensity they did yesterday against Golden State. Washington is playing better basketball these days and is at home where they’ve recently knocked off the Nuggets and Rockets. Wizards will take it, 96-90.

Injuries: Nick Young is expected to miss his third straight game for Philly while Nene and AJ Price are each game-time decisions for the Wizards.

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