Sixers Snag Tight Win Over Wizards in Season Opener

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PHILADELPHIA, PA -- The Philadelphia 76ers hit the court for their first meaningful basketball game since losing in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs in August on Wednesday night. They faced the Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal-led Washington Wizards as they put their revamped roster to the test. 

As expected, the Sixers got off to a rusty start. While Doc Rivers and a handful of players have been impressed with the team's defense throughout training camp and the preseason, the 76ers' roster admitted players are still getting a feel for each other on offense. And that was evident in the first three-quarters of Wednesday's opener.

Throughout the first half of the game, the Sixers' starting lineup looked out of sorts. With help from the bench, the 76ers managed to get ahead of Washington thanks to strong showings from Shake Milton and the rookie, Tyrese Maxey.

After Philly's bench managed to find separation on the scoreboard, Rivers trotted the starting lineup back out once again, and the Sixers allowed the Wizards to come back and head into halftime with a one-point lead. 

Philly's starting lineup of Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Danny Green, Tobias Harris, and Joel Embiid had hoped for a better showing at the start of the second half. Still, the Sixers continued to struggle in the third quarter as they were outscored 24-15. 

After an ugly third-quarter, Sixers center Joel Embiid turned up the intensity and put his team on his back. In a total of 35 minutes of action, the Sixers' All-Star center hit 10 of 17 field-goal attempts. The big man wrapped up the night with a double-double, scoring 29 points and collecting 14 rebounds. His standout fourth-quarter helped the Sixers put up 40 points in the final period of the game.

Although Washington's two stars, Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook, put on a show and accounted for 52 of the Wizards' 107 points, their contributions weren't enough to take the 76ers down as Philly came out on top with a tight 113-107 win to advance to 1-0 on the year.