Wizards try to keep winning without Wall against Sixers
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The Washington Wizards lost All-Star point guard John Wall to a knee injury five games ago.
They haven't lost since.
The winning streak is the longest of the season for the Wizards, who beat the Indiana Pacers 111-102 on Monday night and visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.
Bradley Beal scored 21 points to lead eight players in double figures against the Pacers. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 15 and the Wizards (31-22) shot 54.9 percent from the floor, an effort that has become commonplace since Wall was lost for six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee.
The Wizards have shot 51.2 percent during the streak and have assisted on 73.9 percent of their field goals. They have at least 27 assists in each of the games, the first time in team history they have had a streak of that length.
"Everybody eats -- that's our motto," Beal told NBC Sports Washington last week. "That's fun basketball. Everybody gets to touch it, everybody gets shots. It makes life easy. It just keeps the locker room close, it keeps our camaraderie going."
Certainly, coach Scott Brooks told that same outlet, the team has had to adjust.
"With John out of the game, we have to find other ways to score," he said. "John gets so many easy shots for our guys and we do not have that. We do not have his speed in transition, we do not have his breakability, playmaking on pick-and-roll plays, and we have to make adjustments."
The Sixers (25-25) lost for the fourth time in five games Saturday night in Indiana despite 24 points and 10 rebounds from center Joel Embiid.
Embiid, coming off a knee injury that limited him to 31 games last season, played in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
He was also tracked down on the streets of Philadelphia by a television crew from Fox29 as fans celebrated the Eagles' 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Sunday night's Super Bowl. It was the first such title in team history and the city's first major championship since the Phillies captured the 2008 World Series.
"That was amazing," Embiid told Fox29. "I'm happy for the whole city of Philadelphia. We're going to have a lot of fun now. We're up next and I'm going to do my best to do it."
The reporter then repeated that Embiid is in fact up next.
"Trust the process," Embiid said, using his signature phrase as a way of ending the interview.
Embiid, named an All-Star for the first time, leads the Sixers with averages of 23.6 points and 11 rebounds per game. Rookie guard/forward Ben Simmons, a Rookie of the Year contender, is averaging 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.2 assists.
Philadelphia has been without guard Markelle Fultz, the top overall pick in last summer's draft, for all but four games this season because of a knee injury. Guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot missed the last two games because of illness, and his status for Tuesday's game is unknown.
Updated February 6, 2018