Porzingis, Beal lead Wizards over Embiid-less 76ers, 121-111

Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis, of Latvia, blocks a shot attempt by Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kristaps Porzingis had 30 points and nine rebounds, Bradley Beal added 29 points and the Washington Wizards took advantage of Joel Embiid’s absence for a 121-111 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

Kyle Kuzma also added 18 points for Washington, which didn’t trail for the final three quarters of the game and was able to match up against Philadelphia’s smaller guard-heavy lineup with a steady diet of interior offense.

“They had to switch up the style, but they are also good playing this way and playing off a pick and roll,” Porzingis said. “They all can shoot and they are a good team even without him. We made the right adjustments from (Monday night’s 117-96 Philadelphia win) and we came up with the right results.”

Tyrese Maxey scored 32 points for the 76ers, while James Harden had 24 and Tobias Harris added 16.

“We just didn’t get timely stops,” Maxey said. “They got some easy looks. We got the game close in the fourth quarter, but that’s the time when you have to buckle down and get stops and we didn’t get those stops tonight.”

Embiid missed his third game of the season, sitting out with an illness the team said was not related to COVID-19. Sixers coach Doc Rivers said Embiid has the flu and has not been around the team in recent days to avoid spreading it around the locker room. Embiid, who has averaged 27.2 points and 9.5 rebounds in six games, missed Monday night’s game in Washington for the same reason.

Washington controlled the inside against Philadelphia’s backups of P.J. Tucker and Paul Reed. The Wizards outscored the 76ers by a 69-38 margin in the paint and held a 50-40 edge on the boards. Most of that was because of a confusion against Porzingis, who was able to pop outside at times and then rolled with Beal’s feeds.

“We know how much of a difference maker Joel is, but we were able to take advantage of KP’s length,’ Beal said. ”You have to stand there and make a decision. He can stand over you and shoot over you. He can space the floor and then roll. It’s great versatility and he’s an underrated defender. He has a nice overall game, I’m glad he’s putting it together and we’re going to have to continue to feed him.”

TIP-INS

Wizards: Washington played Delon Wright (right hamstring strain) for the fourth straight game. Wright has averaged 6.5 points in a reserve point guard role, shooting 41.7 percent from the floor.

76ers: G De’Anthony Melton missed the game with lower back soreness. … The game time was bumped up to 6:05 p.m. to avoid conflict with Game 4 of the World Series, which was taking place across the street from Wells Fargo at Citizens Bank Park. The crowd was noticeably thinner than a normal Sixers game would draw.

UP NEXT

Wizards: Host Brooklyn on Friday.

76ers: Host New York on Friday.

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