Joel Embiid had 30 points and 11 rebounds, and the Philadelphia 76ers held on to beat the Washington Wizards 107-98 on Wednesday despite losing two-time All-Star Ben Simmons to a knee injury in the third quarter.
There was no immediate word from the 76ers on the extent of Simmons’ injury, which occurred as he landed awkwardly after grabbing an offensive rebound. At the next break in the action he walked gingerly to the locker room and did not return.
He was shown leaving the locker room in street clothes late in the fourth quarter.
Tobias Harris added 17 points for the 76ers, who pulled within a game of the Pacers for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
The win was anything but easy for the 76ers.
Embiid picked up his fourth and fifth fouls within a span of 20 seconds and left the game with 6:55 remaining and the 76ers leading 89-83. But Harris made a jumper and Shake Milton converted a 3-pointer and a turnaround jumper to help maintain the lead before Embiid returned in the closing minutes.
Thomas Bryant had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the fast-fading Wizards, who have gone 0-4 since the restart and would be eliminated from playoff contention if Orlando and Brooklyn win their games later Wednesday.
Washington has the worst record (24-44) of the 22 teams in Orlando.
Philadelphia is trying to make the most of a favorable schedule. This was the the second game in a five-game stretch in which the 76ers play opponents currently seeded seventh or lower in their respective conference.
The 76ers held the offensively challenged Wizards to 42% shooting. That came after coach Brett Brown publicly blasted his team’s defensive effort, saying it “stinks” after his club allowed 126 and 130 points in their first two games in Orlando.
76ers: Josh Richardson had 15 points and Milton added 14.
Wizards: Bryant recorded his third straight double-double and had three blocks.
76ers: Play Magic on Friday.
Wizards: Play Pelicans on Friday.