Okafor pro­pels Six­ers past Wash­ing­ton

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS -

Jahlil Okafor scored 19 points on 8-for-11 shoot­ing to lead the strug­gling Philadel­phia 76ers to a 109-102 vic­tory over the in­jury-plagued Wash­ing­ton Wiz­ards on Wed­nes­day night.

PHILADEL­PHIA >> Jahlil Okafor scored 19 points on 8-for-11 shoot­ing to lead the strug­gling Philadel­phia 76ers to a 109-102 vic­tory over the in­jury-plagued Wash­ing­ton Wiz­ards on Wed­nes­day night.

Er­san Ilyasova had 16 points, Nik Stauskas scored 15 points, and Ger­ald Hen­er­son 14 to help the 76ers win for just the sec­ond time in 11 games this sea­son. Dario Saric added 13 points and 12 re­bounds.

The 76ers were with­out lead­ing-scorer Joel Em­biid, the third pick over­all in the 2014 NBA draft, who has been brought along slowly after miss­ing two sea­sons be­cause of two foot surg­eries.

John Wall scored 23 of his 27 points in the sec­ond half and Marki­eff Mor­ris had 19 points for the Wiz­ards. Wash­ing­ton was with­out sec­ond-lead­ing scorer Bradley Beal. Otto Porter Jr. had 15 points and 13 re­bounds, Marcin Gor­tat added 10 points and 14 boards, and Mar­cus Thorn­ton also scored 10.

Okafor fouled out of the game with 2:56 re­main­ing in the fourth and the Six­ers hold­ing a 101-93 lead. Wash­ing­ton then made a run, pulling to 103-100 with 1:29 to play.

How­ever, after a time­out, Richaun Holmes made a 3-pointer from just in front of the Wiz­ards’ bench to ex­tend the lead to six points with 1:10 re­main­ing.

Wash­ing­ton was held to just one bas­ket in their fi­nal three pos­ses­sions.

The Six­ers opened the game with an 11-4 run, thanks in part to Ilyasova’s eight points in the open­ing quar­ter. The Wiz­ards re­sponded by scor­ing the next six points, but the Six­ers went on an 11-2 run to end the first quar­ter with a 29-15 lead.

Okafor had just two points in the open­ing quar­ter but played just 3:27. He had 10 points in 5:54 to fin­ish the first half with a team-high 12 points.

Wall, mean­while, saw just 7:28 in the first half and man­aged just four points on 1-for-4 shoot­ing.

Tip-Ins

Wiz­ards: Beal sat out his third straight game with a right thigh in­jury and is ques­tion­able for Thurs­day night’s game against the Knicks. “Ev­ery day he is feel­ing a lit­tle bet­ter,” Wiz­ards coach Scott Brooks said. “We just want to be cau­tious about it.” Shel­don McClel­lan started his sec­ond game in a row in place of Beal, while Mar­cus Thorn­ton came off the bench.

76ers: With the Six­ers vis­it­ing Min­nesota on Thurs­day night, Em­biid, who is lead­ing the team with 18.0 points, 7.3 re­bounds and 2.3 blocks, sat out his fourth game of the sea­son. Em­biid, who last played on Mon­day against Hous­ton, is ex­pected to be lim­ited to 24 min­utes through Christ­mas. “I fol­low the in­struc­tion (of our med­i­cal staff),” Six­ers coach Brett Brown said. “It’s re­ally that sim­ple. It’s com­pletely de­signed to what is best for Joel Em­biid.”

Back-to-Backs

Okafor played in his ninth game and has been cleared to play in Thurs­day’s game against the Tim­ber­volves, al­though he is likely to have min­utes re­stric­tions.

Up Next

Wiz­ards: Host New York on Thurs­day night.

76ers: At Min­nesota on Thurs­day night as they try to end a 20-game road los­ing streak.

MATT SLOCUM — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Philadel­phia 76ers’ Nik Stauskas goes up for a shot dur­ing the sec­ond half against the Wash­ing­ton Wiz­ards on Wed­nes­day.

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