122-114. Beal and Westbrook avoid sweep and achieve first win against Sixers

Washington, May 31 (EFE) .- The combination of guard Bradley Beal and point guard Russell Westbrook, leaders of the Wizards attack, together with the injury of the Cameroonian center Joel Embiid, of the Sixers, allowed the Washington team to win this Monday 122-114 against Philadelphia in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference playoff first-round tie.

The victory was the first for the Wizards in the best-of-seven series and they avoided the sweep (3-1) to force a fifth game to be played on Wednesday in Philadelphia.

The Sixers, after losing Embiid in the first quarter with pain in his right knee, were left without their best option for the victory that would have allowed them the first playoff sweep in 36 years.

Then came Beal’s 27 points – he reached 1,000 in the playoffs – Westbrook’s twelfth triple-double in the playoffs and Washington’s strategy of fouling Australian point guard Ben Simmons whenever possible down the stretch all helped. the Wizards to ensure victory.

It will not be easy for him to accumulate as many incidents as those that occurred tonight at Capital One Arena, including the presence of a fan who jumped onto the track in the third quarter, where he ran until a security guard hit him to the ground. .

But above all Embiid’s injury that completely changed the history of the game and perhaps that of the tie, if his loss is extended to the next games after being the team’s leading scorer with more than 29 points.

Embiid headed to the locker room late in the first quarter after suffering a heavy fall behind the baseline when his shot was blocked by Cuban American center Robin Lopez.

The Sixers star tried to keep playing, wincing and leaning over during breaks in the game, before finally retiring and visibly limping.

He never came back and finished with eight points and six rebounds in 11 minutes of action.

Embiid missed 11 games during the regular season after bruising his left knee while playing Washington in March.

Mike Scott, who used to play for the Wizards, took Embiid’s spot in the lineup at the start of the second half.

Philadelphia led by as many as 11 in the opening period, but that was down to 60-61 when it came to halftime.

Washington briefly achieved the lead, in the third quarter, with a 92-78 run in the last minute.

The fourth and final period was reached with both teams giving up with less than five minutes to go, guard Danny Green got the basket that put the tie at 106.

That’s when Washington basically took the ball out of Philadelphia’s hands, sending Simmons down the personnel line repeatedly down the stretch with a version of the old Hack-a-Shaq strategy they did to expivot Shaquille O’Neal against him. little success he had in free throws.

Simmons entered the game 0-9 on free throws and finished the quarter with 5 of 11 attempts.

The Sixers starting point guard finished with a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, which in the end could not avoid the defeat of the Sixers.

Forward Tobias Harris also finished with a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds that left him the leader of the Sixers, but could not achieve the decisive points.

Quite the opposite of what happened with the Japanese power forward Rui Hachimura who became the winning factor of surprise for the Wizards by contributing a double-double of 20 points and 13 rebounds.

Hachimura hit a 3-pointer with an assist from Beal with 45.6 seconds remaining in regulation that put the Wizards’ 118-112 run.

His basket prompted a chant of “Wiz at 7!” of some in the 10,655 fans, roughly 50% of the Capital One Arena’s capacity, and the highest attendance allowed under current coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

López finished as the sixth Wizards player with 16 points, the starter Daniel Gafford reached 14 and the Brazilian point guard Raúl Neto, who also came off the bench, stood out with another 11 points.

Neto made 3 of 6 shots from the field, including a triple from two attempts, and 4 of 5 from the personnel line, in addition to capturing three rebounds and recovering a ball in the 22 minutes he played.

The Sixers last swept a playoff opponent in 1985 against the Milwaukee Bucks, long before Embiid or Simmons or the “Trust the Process” slogan was born.

The Wizards were last swept in 2007 by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Wizards coach Scott Brooks, whose future is uncertain with the expiration of his five-year, $ 35 million contract, changed his lineup again.

After moving Latvian forward Davis Bertans to starting five to add height in Game 3, Brooks made another change in Game 4, with Gafford at center in place of Ukrainian Alex Len.

But in the end it would be López, the third center used by Brooks, who made the difference and became a winning factor.

(c) EFE Agency

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