GRADES: Sixers cruise to 2-0 series lead over Wizards

Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers offense exploded early as they handled the Washington Wizards in a dominating fashion spurred by Ben Simmons.

Before all of that, during the course of the game a fan made an inexcusable decision by dumping popcorn on Russell Westbrook as he left the with an injury. He was removed. The behavior was gross and the punishment ought to reflect that.

Back to the action between the lines.

The teams were playing fast again early as one might presume Washington was dictating. Yet, Simmons helped steal the show. He pitched in 12 points and five rebounds in the first quarter while showcasing a wide array of scoring capabilities.

Heading into the second quarter, Philadelphia led 35-24.

Simmons again helped propel the offense in the second quarter as Philadelphia would pour in 36 to one-up their first quarter output. He facilitated the running offense dishing out five assists as Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris carried the scoring burden.

Despite a 14-point lead for Philadelphia entering the halftime locker room, Bradley Beal was not to be out done as he led all scorers with 24 points on 15 shots single-handedly trying to will his team to competitiveness. Russell Westbrook was being held in check shooting the rock but dished out eight assists.

71-57, Philadelphia and Washington came out in a more controlled pace as the teams traded eight points each across eight different players before a Simmons dunk, Harris rebound, and Embiid three-pointer extended the lead to 20.

With such a large lead, Philadelphia got extended minutes for its non-starters and they did not disappoint. Just in the second half, Tyrese Maxey scored 10 points while chipping in two rebounds and assists. Furkan Korkmaz scored nine points on four shots.

…And the best of them all, Matisse Thybulle four steals AND five blocks in under 20 minutes of action. The best defensive player in basketball putting on a career half.

A back-and-forth low scoring third gave way to a cruise control game in terms of stress for the Philadelphia faithful as they held Washington to 15 points in the fourth, closing the game 120-95.

Grades from the Sixers’ dominant win over the Wizards, which secures a commanding 2-0 series lead.

A+. . PG. 76ers. BEN SIMMONS

28 mins | 22 pts | 9 reb | 8 ast | 2 stl | 1 blk | 2 TO | 11-15 FG | 0-0 3PT| 0-0 FT | 1 PF | +18 |

Simmons came out aggressive. He set the tone. Embiid might by the frame that holds the car together and gives it shape, but Philadelphia’s success against top teams can also so often be seen early. When he gets downhill early and often, good luck to a team who plays in space. A grown man with DPOY lockdown potential is coming.

C. 76ers. JOEL EMBIID. A+.

26 mins | 22 pts | 7 reb | 3 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 8-12 FG | 3-4 3PT| 3-3 FT | 1 PF | +19 |

75/75/100 shooting splits in a 22-point game from the most dominant interior big in the game. The big men of today are so skilled. Embiid ends up with seven rebounds and some might think that’s low. It’s by design. Westbrook is working to the paint and Embiid is trusted to guard a smaller player in space, potentially after a close-out No problem. Nimble feet and a sweet stroke are just reminders of the versatility in today’s big men.


23 mins | 19 pts | 9 reb | 1 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 1 TO | 9-13 FG | 1-3 3PT| 0-0 FT | 2 PF | +11 |

Great game with incredibly efficient scoring, a near double-double, and a style that blends seamlessly as a scoring threat with a spaced floor catching in movement. Harris has made fair strides in his game, and tremendous strides in his comfort and flow of the game within their big 3.

76ers. TYRESE MAXEY. A. . PG

13 mins | 10 pts | 2 reb | 2 ast | 0 stl | 3 blk | 1 TO | 4-7 FG | 0-0 3PT| 2-3 FT | 0 PF | +8 |

Maxey’s playmaking has proven to be a threat on the bigger stage. A still far cry from a top-ranked New York Knicks or possibly Milwaukee Bucks defense is a new test, but he has shown the playoffs aren’t too big. Tonight, his on-ball creativity flourished and he brought some defensive chops along the way as him and Thybulle clamped down the game.


20 mins | 5 pts | 0 reb | 0 ast | 4 stl | 5 blk | 0 TO | 2-5 FG | 1-3 3PT| 0-0 FT | 1 PF | +9 |

Nine combined stocks in a shade under 20 minutes of action. That will be discussed, but under appreciated. The “video game numbers” description might not do that justice. He scored five points on five shots. Anything on offense is merely icing. His budding partnership and perfect combination with Maxey shouldering the offensive load is rounding into form at the perfect time.

These two teams will run it back on Saturday in Washington as Russell Westbrook will try to heal up to play game 3 and Philadelphia aims to make quick work on the way to a sweep.

Sixers not named Simmons or Embiid who will win games. dark. Next