76ers aim to stay hot against high-scoring Wizards

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The Philadelphia 76ers will go for their fifth straight win when they visit the banged-up Washington Wizards on Thursday night.

Philadelphia has won eight of its past nine after Monday’s 103-94 win over the Utah Jazz at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers are 10-0 at home and 5-6 on the road as they visit Washington.

The 76ers are allowing 103.7 points per game, tied for third lowest in the NBA entering Wednesday’s play, and are scoring 108.6 points per game, 19th in the league. Both of those numbers are likely to spike against the offensive-minded Wizards, who are putting up 118.9 points per game, third best in the NBA.

Last time out, the 76ers started the fourth quarter with a 19-point lead over the Jazz and watched all but seven points of it disappear before holding on.

Tobias Harris scored 26 points to lead the Philadelphia. Joel Embiid scored 16 points on 5-for-13 shooting.

Al Horford scored 12 of his 17 points in the first quarter when he hit all five shots, including two from 3-point range. Horford appears to be getting more comfortable playing the power forward spot with Embiid at center.

“I started with a good rhythm,” he said, “and I just think the more games I am starting to play, the more I am understanding where my shots are coming from and how I need to play and things I have to do.”

The Sixers played their third straight game without starting guard Josh Richardson (right hamstring tightness).

The depleted Wizards will face Embiid and Co. without their top two centers. Starter Thomas Bryant, who was averaging 13.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, was diagnosed with a stress reaction in his right foot Tuesday and will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

“Hopefully we get good news then,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said regarding Bryant, who experienced pain in his foot following Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Washington was also without back-up center Moritz Wagner (left ankle sprain), forcing the team to use rookie forward Rui Hachimura in the center spot in Tuesday’s 127-120 loss to the Orlando Magic.

Also, reserve guard C.J. Miles underwent surgery to repair ligament damage in his left wrist on Wednesday. There isn’t yet a timeline for how long he will be sidelined.

Meanwhile, star guard Bradley Beal scored 42 points against Orlando for the Wizards, who have lost three straight. Beal is averaging 28.7 points per game.

“He puts the fear in everybody because of the way he can shoot,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said of Beal.

Davis Bertans, inserted into the starting lineup, added 21 points and Isaiah Thomas scored a season-high 20 for Washington, which was outrebounded 48-38.

Brooks also started forward Isaac Bonga in place of Troy Brown, Jr. saying he hoped to spark Brown (five points, eight rebounds) by playing him with the second unit.

“We’ve got to work with what we’ve got,” Beal said postgame. “We can’t make excuses and on top of that it’s giving a lot of guys the opportunity to come in and earn minutes. They’re going to make the best of (those minutes). We’re just going to keep chipping away.”

The Wizards rallied from an 18-point, second-quarter deficit and took a one-point lead in the third quarter before tiring as Orlando went back ahead by double digits and held on.

It marked the seventh time this season that the Wizards, who are allowing an NBA-worst 122.9 points per game, scored 120 or more points and lost.

–Field Level Media

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