WASHINGTON (AP) – Joseph Blair is next in Washington’s line of succession. With coach Wes Unseld Jr. and assistant Pat Delany in health and safety protocols, his job will be to run the team.
Blair’s players made that task a little easier.
“Some feelings, words don’t do justice, and I think today is one for me,” Blair said. “You feel engrossed in the game at a certain point, and you no longer care where you are. You’re just doing what needs to be done to move the team forward, whether it’s when I’m standing up as head coach or when I’m on the bench as assistant coach.”
Kyle Kuzma had 15 points and 16 rebounds, and Bradley Beal added 13 points in his return from a 3-game absence to lift the Washington Wizards to a 117-98 win over Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday.
Unseld missed a second game in a row after following health and safety protocols. Delany, who coached Saturday’s team, also joined the protocols, forcing Blair to take on the game. Blair served as head coach in the G League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers during the 2018-19 season. He then served as an NBA assistant for Philadelphia and Minnesota before joining Unseld’s new staff in Washington this season.
Beal has been absent since joining the protocols himself, but he returned and scored 11 points in the first quarter. Washington played early on 11-0 and never looked back.
Embiid scored 32 points for the 76ers, but he got the biggest hit of the game when Kuzma bypassed him in the second half. Philadelphia has only lost for the second time in its last 11 games.
After the Wizards took a 61-55 lead at halftime, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a quick seven points in the third inning, including a 3-pointer that put Washington up 72-59.
“The early days of the NBA, but you have to fight to get through that,” said Tyrese Maxey of Philadelphia. “We started off slow and it’s hard to come back once you start slow.”
It was a six-point lead early in the fourth inning before the Wizards continued their 22-5 run to take the game away.
Washington has seven players with double the number. Montrezl Harrel leads with 18 points, and Thomas Bryant has 15.
“It doesn’t matter who they play with tonight,” said 76ers coach Doc Rivers. “They all played better than our boys. It was just one of those nights. I think we dominated in every phase of the game. ”
Kuzma jumps over Embiid with one hand to a 58-47 lead for the Wizards.
“I owe it to him, because of my rookie year, I tried to focus on him, and things didn’t go so well,” Kuzma said.
Moments later, Kuzma blocked Embiid’s shot from the other end.
Beal didn’t score much after the first quarter, but he finished with six assists and five rebounds. He also played 32:39, the most of anyone on the team.
“I’m completely satisfied with Brad,” Blair said. “I think the numbers don’t match what he brings to the game, because even when he’s not making those dunks or getting those assists, he’s still attracting. The defense’s attention was unbelievable. It is very remarkable, if you ever see him with the ball, how much things shift in his direction. ”
76ers: Andre Drummond and Rivers were both penalized for technical fouls. … Philadelphia was without Danny Green (right) for the third straight game, and Matisse Thybulle (right) sidelined for a second straight. … Maxey (18 points) is the only player other than Embiid to have double the number for the 76ers.
Wizards: Bryant and Harrell were called for engineering. … Caldwell-Pope scored 14 points, Corey Kispert and Rui Hachimura each contributed 11 points.
76ers: Hosts Orlando on Wednesday night.
Wizards: Host Brooklyn on Wednesday nights.
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https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/01/17/kuzma-beal-lead-wizards-to-117-98-rout-of-76ers/ Kuzma, Beal Lead Wizards to 117-98 Rout Of 76ers – CBS Baltimore