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Without Embiid, the 76ers pass the Wizards and go to the second round.


Steph Curry scored 30 points, Tobias Harris 28 and the Philadelphia 76ers ended the Washington Wizards in five games with a 29-112 win Wednesday night.

PHILADELPHIA – Relax, Joel Embiid.

With the NBA title still in sight, the second round will require the 76ers to have their injured franchise center — healthy and ready to roll.

Seth Curry scored a playoff career-high 30 points and Philadelphia beat Washington 129-112 on Wednesday night to end the series in five games, overcoming Embiid’s absence due to a knee injury.

Tobias Harris added 28 points and combined with Curry and Ben Simmons to dismiss Embiid. Simmons had 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, keeping the top-seeded 76ers in the hunt for his first championship since 1983.

Embiid is day to day with a small lateral meniscus tear in his right knee and he was reduced to Philadelphia’s biggest cheerleader as the Sixers left behind the misery of last season’s first-round sweep.

Embiid secretly observed that the injury sustained in a Game 4 loss might not keep him out for very long. The NBA MVP candidate thronged the court as he took to the court for the pregame warmup. He shot jumpers around the perimeter, fadeaways, even a few free throws — all without some sort of noticeable knee brace under his white leggings — and put on a show. Which proves that his absence can’t last beyond Game 5.

Coach Doc Rivers said in his first season that he expected Embiid to return in the postseason.

“I don’t know when and how soon,” he said. “I’m hopeful. I think there’s a better way to put it.”

So Embiid and the Sixers await the winner of the Atlanta – New York series.

Sixers Fans Can’t Wait, “We Need Brooklyn!” As the seconds ticked by in Game 5.

Led by Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beale, the Wizards hoped to take advantage of Embiid’s absence and force him to return home for Game 6.

With this season’s first capacity crowd at the Wells Fargo center – there were 15,523 at home – the Sixers made a slow start and made room for a shake-up late in the first half, when Simmons hit Harris for 3 and their first lead of the night. Ben Simmons — defended tenaciously by Rivers after a missed free throw in Game 4 — hung tightly to the line when the Wizards tried to hack-a-Ben again.

He also did what he does best, creating drama and making his strikes on the rim look silky smooth. He also made 5 out of 8 from the free-throw line.

Simmons, who missed 15 of 20 free throws in the first four games, drew Westbrook’s third foul in the third. Westbrook complained to the referee all night and was fouled four times in three quarters. Beale scored 32 points and Westbrook 24 points.

The Sixers needed all the scoring assist they could and got a lot from the super-sub Tyres Maxi. Maxi scored nine points in the first half at a time when the Sixers needed some juice to keep pace with the Wizards. A rookie maxi from Kentucky hit the rim with pizza in traffic and fans erupted with each basket. He is an immediate fan favorite and played most of the starter’s minutes in the first half.

Beale and Westbrook, playing their first game in Philly as a fan threw popcorn at them in Game 2, could have won the season in early April after a 17–32 record propelled the Wizards to the playoffs. was.

Selfless and on a mission, the Sixers expect too much.

Sixers fans chanted “Trust the Process!” Last-minute chants and the painstaking rebuilding plan that brought in franchise Embiid and Simmons would certainly need both to finish the job.

Tip-ins

Wizards: With David Burtons a tense right calf for the rest of the series, Raul Neto gets the start. … Since the 1987 Seattle SuperSonics, no NBA team has won a playoff series with a losing record. The Wizards lost 31 straight postseason series for record-losing teams.

76ers: Meek Mill got a wild ovation when he rang the ceremonial bell. … Curry’s previous high in a post-season game was 22 against the Clippers on August 21, 2020.

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More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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