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Westbrook, Beal shine; Wizards stay alive



BRADLEY Beal registers 27 points to lead the Washington Wizards to a 122-114 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. / Krzaczynski /agence france-presse

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal proved to be too much to handle Monday as the Washington Wizards stayed alive in the National Basketball Association playoffs by beating the Philadelphia 76ers, 122-114, in Game 4 at Washington.

Westbrook finished with 19 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists while Beal delivered a game-high 27 points for the Wizards, who avoided being swept in four straight in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series.

Beal scored the 1,000th postseason point of his career early in the game while Westbrook recorded the 12th career triple-double in the playoffs, to move into third place on the all-time list.

“I have never been down 3-0 so I be damned if I get out of here without a win,” Beal said.

The Sixers lost four-time All-Star Joel Embiid with an injury in the first quarter.

Embiid hurt his knee after falling on a drive to the basket, leaving him with just eight points on the night after scoring 36 in a Game 3 victory.

Philadelphia still holds a 3-1 lead with Game 5 on Wednesday at home.

It is an uphill battle for the eighth-seeded Wizards.

While it has happened in the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball, no NBA team has ever rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.

Rui Hachimura finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Robin Lopez came off the bench to score 16 for the Wizards.

Davis Bertans scored 12 of his 15 points in the first quarter.

“We got stops when we needed to,” Westbrook said.

“They made some big shots but we rebounded well when we needed to.”

Tobias Harris recorded 21 points and 13 rebounds for the 76ers, who were bidding for their first sweep of a best-of-seven series since eliminating Milwaukee in 1985.

“Each guy thought they had to win the game for us,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said.

“You’ve still got to play right. Tonight, we didn’t play right, on either end.”

Hachimura helped the Wizards rediscover their scoring touch on Monday, especially from three-point range. After making just 2-of-22 three-pointers in Game 2, and 8-of-35 on Saturday, the Wizards hit 9-of-24 on Monday.