Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal proved to be too much to handle on Monday as the Washington Wizards stayed alive in the NBA 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 post-season point of his career early in the game, while Westbrook recorded a 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 to injury in the first quarter. Embiid hurt his knee after falling on a drive to the basket.
Philadelphia still holds a 3-1 lead with Game 5 at home today. It is an uphill battle for the eighth-seeded Wizards. While it has happened in the NHL and MLB, no NBA team has ever rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.
Rui Hachimura, of Japan, 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, especially from three-point range. After making just two of 22 threes in Game 2, and eight of 35 on Saturday, the Wizards hit nine-of-24 on Monday.
Philadelphia led by three, 31-28, at the end of the first and by just one, 61-60, at halftime. The Wizards’ dynamic duo helped them grab the lead in the third and then it was a matter of holding off the Sixers.
Hachimura drained a clutch 24-foot (7.3m) three-pointer with 45 seconds left to make it 118-112 and put the game out of reach.
Elsewhere, Donovan Mitchell had 30 points and Rudy Gobert scored 13 of his 17 in the third quarter, as the Utah Jazz beat the Memphis Grizzlies 120-113 to take a stranglehold 3-1 lead in their Western Conference series.
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