Andre Drummond, Sixers try to keep rolling vs. Wizards

The Philadelphia 76ers gave Most Valuable Player candidate Joel Embiid the night off after a string of 21 straight stellar outings.

And they still won, thanks in large part to Andre Drummond, Embiid’s backup.

Philadelphia will look to extend its five-game winning streak and sweep a five-game homestand when it hosts the slumping Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

Drummond’s 16 points, 23 rebounds and five assists helped the Sixers defeat the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies 122-119 in overtime Monday. Tyrese Maxey (33 points) and Tobias Harris (31) also had strong performances.

Whether or not Embiid returns to face Washington, Drummond’s ability to step in and produce makes the 76ers even more formidable.

“I think these moments, you’ve gotta appreciate them,” said Drummond, who matched his second-highest rebounding total of the season. “You know, I play behind one of the best centers in the NBA right now, so my job is to stay ready, stay ready for these moments when they do come and not miss a beat when the time does come. And we came out with a great win.”

Maxey also continues to play a pivotal role in the Sixers’ recent surge by excelling in all areas. He had eight assists and a career-high four blocked shots against the Grizzlies.

“I thought it was his best passing game overall as well,” Sixers coach Doc Rivers said of Maxey. “We talked about that they are going to help, and if you just make the flow passes, then we’ll get good shots.”

The Wizards will hope to avoid a seventh straight loss when they visit Philadelphia.

Washington fell 112-98 to the host Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday. Kyle Kuzma led the Wizards with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Montrezl Harrell added 20 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 12 for Washington.

The Wizards looked a bit out of sync without three-time All-Star Bradley Beal, who is out for at least another week with a ligament strain in his left wrist.

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“We’ve been without Brad a few times this year, and everyone has kind of stepped up,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “The messaging to the group is that we need everybody. We don’t necessarily need more. We need everyone as a collective to kind of band together and pull in unison.”

Washington’s Thomas Bryant left the Tuesday game in the third quarter with a sprained right ankle. Unseld called the injury “significant,” though he refused to say Bryant definitely would be unavailable on Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, the Wizards were 23-21. However, injuries have cost them recently, and now they are four games below .500 for the first time this season and searching for answers.

“We’re all connected, we’re all in line,” Unseld said. “I don’t think anyone’s happy or pleased with where we’re at right now or how we’ve played recently. It’s not a sense of panic, but I think we have to refocus and that’s the priority.”

The Wizards and 76ers have split a pair of games this season, with both contests played in Washington.

–Field Level Media


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