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76ers rout Wizards in Game 2 to seize control of East series



Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots the ball against the Washington Wizards during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round playoffs at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (AFP)

Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid each scored 22 points as the Philadelphia 76ers seized a 2-0 lead in their NBA playoff series with a 120-95 rout of the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

Simmons had nine rebounds and eight assists and Embiid grabbed seven rebounds as the heavily-favored Sixers got contributions from a number of players including starting power forward Tobias Harris, who had 19 points and nine rebounds.

Harris was coming off a playoff career-high 37 points in a 125-118 win in game one.

The top-seeded 76ers now have a firm lead in the best-of-seven East series with game three scheduled for Saturday in Washington.

The Wizards weaved their way into the postseason by grabbing the eighth and final seed, but it hasn’t been an easy road.

Their frustrations mounted on Wednesday when Russell Westbrook left the game with an injury and then had a run-in with a Philadelphia fan as he was walking down the tunnel.

Less than two minutes into the fourth, Westbrook appeared to injure his right ankle and headed to the locker room. A Philadelphia fan appeared to drop popcorn on Westbrook, who then had to be restrained by team personnel.

“It is very disrespectful,” said Wizards coach Scott Brooks of the fan who was escorted out of the arena by security. “Philadelphia is better than that …. hopefully that fan is banned from games. They wouldn’t do that down the street.”

Bradley Beal scored a team-high 33 points and Rui Hachimura chipped in 11 points for the Wizards, who have been unable to slow down the 76ers’ high-powered offense that boasts plenty of playoff experience.

Westbrook scored 10 points and handed out 11 assists. But the all-star point guard struggled Wednesday, shooting just two-of-10 from the floor and missing all three of his attempts from beyond the arc.

“They were attacking in high-efficiency shots and we couldn’t make a bucket,” said Brooks.

Embiid drained his third three-pointer with just under seven minutes left in the third to give the Sixers a commanding 20-point lead 85-65.

Philadelphia stretched that lead to 24 points in the fourth, 107-83, with 7:58 remaining when Tyrese Maxey made a basket.