By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
After a convincing win in Chicago on Thursday night, the Sixers would travel to Washington for the second half of a back-to-back. Their strong play against the Bulls would carry over as they would go out and dominate the Wizards, winning by a final score of 127-101.
Joel Embiid would clear protocol and make his return to the lineup in this one, but the fun would be short-lived. After dominating for most of the first half, things would take a turn for the worst in the third quarter.
After sailing in for a dunk, Embiid's left knee would buckle and he would go crashing to the floor. He would stay on the floor for moments after and would eventually be helped up and to the locker room. The team has listed it as a "left knee injury" and that he will undergo an MRI when the team gets back to Philadelphia.
Before suffering his injury Embiid was his usual dominant self. He would shoot 8-11 from the floor en route to scoring 23 points in just 20 minutes of action.
Being without their stars again it was on the Sixers' supporting cast to weather the storm. They would put together another balanced attack as five different players would break double-figures along with Embiid.
Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz would lead the charge off the bench tonight as both would score 18 points. Milton would hit eight of his 14 shot attempts from the floor, and Korkmaz would shoot a stellar 4-5 from beyond the arc.
The bench unit has been a key area of improvement for the Sixers, but you wouldn't believe in these two games coming out of the break. After scoring 55 bench points against the Bulls, the bench would go off for 56 points against the Wizards.
A key standout for the Sixers in this back-to-back has to be Matisse Thybulle. With Ben Simmons not being available, it would be on him to fill the void Simmons leaves defensively. Thybulle would have two tough matchups in Zach LaVine and Bradley Beal, and he would go out and show just how special he is on defense.
The second year defensive specialist would hold both All-Stars to under 20 points in respective games. Including his incredible on-ball defense, he would rack up eight steals throughout both games. On the offensive end, he would score eight points on 4-6 shooting from the floor.
These were two very impressive wins from the Sixers to come out of the break. The supporting cast deserves major credit for getting the momentum going to start the second half with Embiid and Simmons being forced to sit.
Looking ahead, the Sixers will be off on Saturday and back in action on Sunday for a matchup at home against the San Antonio Spurs.