NBA playoffs

Sixers easily close out Wizards without Joel Embiid

Reuters
Sixers easily close out Wizards without Joel Embiid

PIVOTAL. Sixers guard Ben Simmons passes the ball between Wizards' Rui Hachimura (right) and Russell Westbrook in Game 5 action.

Even minus MVP finalist Joel Embiid, the Sixers dominate Russell Westbrook and the Wizards to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals

Seth Curry scored a playoff career-high 30 points, Tobias Harris added 28 points, and 9 rebounds and the host Philadelphia 76ers eliminated the Washington Wizards in five games with a 129-112 victory on Wednesday, June 2 (Thursday, June 3, Manila time).

Ben Simmons started at center and had 19 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds for the Sixers for his third career playoff triple-double.

The top-seeded Sixers will meet the Atlanta Hawks, who wrapped up their own series against the New York Knicks, in the Eastern Conference semifinals. 

Tyrese Maxey added 13 points, Dwight Howard contributed 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots, and Furkan Korkmaz had 10 points.

The Sixers played without Joel Embiid, who’s recovering from a small lateral meniscus tear in his right knee. The Sixers announced that Embiid would be day-to-day moving forward.

Bradley Beal led the eighth-seeded Wizards with 32 points while Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds. Rui Hachimura added 21 points.

Davis Bertans suffered a right calf strain in Game 4 and would have been sidelined for four to six weeks.

When Hachimura hit a three-pointer from the top of the key with 4:38 left in the second quarter, the Wizards pulled ahead 48-44.

Simmons drove to the basket and scored with 1:30 remaining to close within 57-55. Simmons was also fouled but missed the free throw, which has been an issue throughout the series.

Danny Green made a trey with 3.6 seconds remaining and the Sixers went into the locker room with a 65-63 advantage.

The Wizards stayed close as they trailed just 89-85 after Robin Lopez dropped in a hook shot with 4:11 left in the third.

The Sixers closed the quarter strong and led 103-94.

Korkmaz hit a three-pointer from the corner, Maxey converted a difficult layup, and the Sixers moved out to a 108-95 advantage just 1:25 into the fourth.

The Wizards called timeout after Philadelphia took a 116-100 lead with 6:35 remaining.

Washington appeared to be fatigued down the stretch as the Sixers clinched the series. – Rappler.com