Put those brooms away! Once again, with their backs against the wall, the Washington Wizards have fought their way back to life. Down 3-0, the Wizards fell behind by 11 points in the first quarter of game four. It looked like the Philadelphia 76ers would pull off the first-round sweep. With the 76ers coming off back-to-back wins by 25 points or more, it was hardly a surprising start.
Then, Joel Embiid went to the locker room with right knee soreness after taking a hard fall, and the game changed. Embiid has been a problem for the Wizards all series; he averaged 29.3 points and seven rebounds on 67 percent field goal shooting through the first three games. The Wizards were sure to take advantage of his absence.
Thanks to a true team effort in which seven Wizards players scored in double figures, the Wizards will get to play at least one more game. It’s still win or go home for the Wizards.
Here are three takeaways from the Washington Wizards’ 122-114 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in game four.
Takeaway #3: Rui Hachimura is ready for the bright lights.
Bradley Beal became one of four players in franchise history with 1,000 career playoff points. Russell Westbrook notched his 12th career postseason double-double. But make no mistake about it. The Wizards do not avoid getting swept if not for Rui Hachimura‘s performance in game four. In the first playoff elimination game of his career, Hachimura stepped up in a major way to keep the season alive.
This was, by far, Hachimura’s best game of the postseason: 20 points, 13 rebounds, 67 percent from the field, 50 percent from three. And it’s not out of nowhere. All series long, Hachimura has been getting it done for the Wizards. Through four games, the second-year forward is averaging 13.3 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 63 percent from the field and 67 percent from three. On the biggest stage, Hachimura has risen to the occasion. Not bad for his first trip to the playoffs.