It wasn’t for lack of effort — Russell Westbrook racked up another triple-double — but the Washington Wizards were simply overmatched.
Ben Simmons was attacking the rim early and getting points (especially in transition), so Washington tried to form a wall, then Seth Curry and Danny Green shot right over the top of it. 76er three-point shooters were wide open and able to set their feet and not feel rushed. On top of that, Joel Embiid scored 25 points with 7 rebounds, and was doing this:
JOEL EMBIID MEGA BOMB 💣💣💣 pic.twitter.com/521IxtytDB
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) May 30, 2021
All that was all before halftime.
Philadelphia had a fast 10-point lead, was up 14 at the half, and cruised to a 132-103 win. Embiid was dominant and finished with a playoff career-best of 36 and only needed 28 minutes to get there. Washington chose to stick with single coverage and limited help much of the night, but they do not have a player who can slow Embiid.
The 76ers now have a commanding 3-0 series lead, with Game 4 Monday night back in Washington.
While the Wizards have made comebacks a theme of this season, no team in NBA history has come back from 0-3 down in a series.
Washington’s offense put up numbers behind Westbrook, who is clearly bothered by his sprained ankle but still had 26 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Bradley Beal added 25 points.
The problem was the Wizards’ defense was little more than traffic cones for the 76ers players to dribble around most of the night. Philadelphia cracked the 100 point mark with more than three minutes left in the third quarter.
Every 76er starter was in double figures, including Tobias Harris with 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Danny Green with 15 thanks to his five made threes.
But the Wizards are going to need a lot more on Monday night to extend their season.