The Philadelphia 76ers were left to rue their collective sloppiness with the ball after suffering a shock loss to the Washington Wizards.
Give Ben Simmons and the rest of the Philadelphia 76ers credit for honesty.
They didn’t try to hide from the fact that they were sloppy with the ball – to the tune of 21 turnovers, a combined 15 from Simmons and Joel Embiid – or that their defense was half-hearted or that their overall showing was, to use Tobias Harris’ word, terrible.
As well as the Sixers have been playing at home lately, they just can’t consistently get their act together on the road, and the latest disappointment for a team that has serious aspirations for the postseason was a 119-113 loss at the struggling Wizards on Thursday night.
“I just think,” Simmons said, “we came in too relaxed.”
The Sixers dropped to 5-7 away from Philadelphia – where they are 10-0 this season – despite 33 points from Harris, 26 points and a season-best 21 rebounds from Embiid, and 17 points and 10 assists from Simmons.
“I didn’t think we responded well at all. I thought that it took us about 36 minutes, 38 minutes, to come with an energy that we have been playing with,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said.
Troy Brown Jr steals the ball from Joel Embiid
Facing one of the most lax defenses in the NBA, Embiid had eight turnovers and Simmons seven. The Wizards ended up converting all of the turnovers into 30 points, quite a gift for a team that lost five of their previous six games.
“There was just a lot of bad turnovers all around,” Harris said. “It is something that has been hurting us all year. We have known that.”
Rookie Rui Hachimura scored 27 for Washington, Bradley Beal had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Davis Bertans scored 19 of his season-high 25 points in the second quarter. In the first half, he shot 8-for-8 overall, 6-for-6 on three-pointers, and racked up 22 points.
“He is the best shooter that I have ever seen,” Hachimura said.
The 76ers have lost 10 games in a row at Washington; their last victory in the nation’s capital came on November 1, 2013.
Still, the Wizards started this one about as poorly as possible at the offensive end, missing their first five shots and turning the ball over twice before finally making a basket after nearly four minutes.
Raul Neto hit threes on consecutive trips down the court to put the Sixers ahead 33-22 late in the first quarter. Bertans took over in the second, though, scoring 12 points in a row for Washington in one stretch and sparking a 16-2 run.
“Kind of a punch in the face for them,” Bertans said.
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