The Philadelphia 76ers look to gain ground in the standings as they take on the Washington Wizards at home. Trailing the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks by only a few games, the Sixers look to put away a mediocre team that has had their way with Philly this season.
Sixers vs. Wizards game info
Who: Wizards (31-36) @ Sixers (44-22)
When: Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 6:00 PM EST
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
How to watch: NBC Sports Philly
How to listen: 97.5 The Fanatic
Latest with the Sixers
The Sixers are coming off a dramatic come-back victory on Friday night versus the Portland Trail Blazers. Philly rallied in the second half, after being down 21 points. Their first and only lead came after a Joel Embiid fadeaway jump shot with one second left on the game clock. The MVP candidate and 6x All Star scored 39 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and blocked three shots.
James Harden finished the game with 19 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. Only six players have 30 or more games with a stat line of 15-5-5 this season. James Harden is one of them.
The 76ers bench accumulated 39 points against Portland. The top contributors on the night were Georges Niang and De’Anthony Melton. The two combined for 25 points. Niang did most of his damage beyond the arc, knocking down 4-of-7 long distance shots.
The Sixers defense struggled with stopping the Blazers on the perimeter. They shot 41.7 percent of their 3-point shots, going 15-for-36. Portland’s young shooting guard, Anfernee Simons, was most effective, making 8-of-12 shots beyond the arc.
Friday night marked the return of Matisse Thybulle for the first time since the trade that brought Jalen McDaniels to Philly. Both finished with modest box score numbers. Thybulle scored five points, grabbed two boards, and blocked one shot. McDaniels ended up with four points and three rebounds.
Latest with the Wizards
The Washington Wizards have won only four of their last ten games and lost two in a row. On Friday night, they lost to the Atlanta Hawks 107-114. In that game, the Wizards gave up 28 points and nine assists to Trae Young. Atlanta shot 48.4 percent from the 3-point line, making 15-of-31 on the night.
The leading scorer for the Wizards in the loss was Bradley Beal, who put up 27 points on inefficient (11-24) shooting. Other starters in double-figures include Kristaps Porzingis (22), Kyle Kuzma (17), and Daniel Gafford (13).
Washington was in the news lately because they were the team that Giannis Antetokounmpo attempted to secure a triple-double against with an intentionally missed shot in the final seconds of the game. The NBA rescinded the triple-double because the official rule book says a player earns a rebound after shooting “with intent to score a field goal.”
What to expect
The 76ers are on a 4-game winning streak. They look to extend it to five games as they go up against the 16th ranked defensive team that gives up 113.4 points a game. Kristaps Porzingis is the leading shot blocker for the Wizards, averaging 1.5 blocks a game. Jordan Goodwin leads Washington with 0.9 steals per game.
The Wizards lead the head-to-head series this year. They have beaten the Sixers twice out of three matchups. The last time they played, Washington won 116-111 back in December. Although Joel Embiid scored 48 points that night, Washington had a more balanced attack with four players in double figures and every bench player contributing points.
Because the Sixers are third place in the Eastern Conference standings, only 1.5 games behind Boston and 3.5 games behind Milwaukee, they have a lot of motivation to win this game versus the Wizards. Including today’s game, Philly only has 16 games remaining to move up in the standings. With games left against Phoenix, Denver, Milwaukee, and Boston, the 76ers need to win games against the subpar teams like the Wizards.
If Washington has an ounce of motivation against the Sixers today, it is because they have a chance to qualify for the play-in tournament. The Wizards stand at 31-36 in the standings. Right now, they are behind the Chicago Bulls, who are tenth in the conference. A win today would help Washington temporarily claim that last slot for the final play-in seed.
Betting odds per MGM
Spread: Sixers -8.5 | Wizards +8.5
Moneyline: Sixers -300 | Wizards +240
According to ESPN, there are no players on the injury report for either team.