- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

PHILADELPHIAWashington Wizards coach Randy Wittman was concerned about his team’s offense without All-Star guard John Wall. There was nothing to worry about.

Bradley Beal scored 21 points and Wizards shot a franchise-record 65.3 percent from the field in their 119-90 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

The Wizards rested Wall, ending his streak at 208 consecutive games played.

“I thought our guys were tremendous,” Wittman said. “We shot lights out. But we got some really good looks because of our ball movement.”

Ramon Sessions added 19 points, and Marcin Gortat had 18 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four blocks to help Washington win its fourth consecutive game.

Trying to earn home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs for the first time since 1979, the Wizards remained a game behind fourth-place Toronto in the Eastern Conference and also pulled within one game of Chicago, which lost to Orlando on Wednesday night.

“This shows how deep we are as a team,” Beal said. “We definitely want our guys healthy come playoff time, and sharp as well. I think we’re doing a great job of that.”

Robert Covington scored a career-high 27 points on 8-for-11 shooting for the Philadelphia, and Jason Richardson added 17 points. The 76ers have dropped their last seven games.

The Sixers never led and shot 34.8 percent from the field.

“We started the game so poorly,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. “We subbed our first group out quickly trying to find some life but I thought the first half defensively was just poor.”

Wall had a career-high 18 assists in Washington’s 92-83 victory at Memphis on Saturday night and averaged 15 points, 12 assists and 4.3 rebounds in the Wizards‘ first three games with the Sixers this season.

Nene joined Wall on the inactive list with the Brazilian big man sitting out his third consecutive game. But the Wizards had no trouble getting the offense going without two of their top players, shooting 53.3 percent from 3-point range and scoring 54 points in the paint.

The Wizards were shooting over 71 percent early in the first quarter as they threatened to set the NBA record. But Wittman was mostly pleased that his team had assists on 35 of its 47 made baskets, with Sessions and backup point guard Will Bynum each contributing seven.

“When we keep it simple and move the ball, we have guys that can make plays and make shots,” Wittman said. “And that showed tonight.”

After Jerami Grant’s one-handed slam pulled the 76ers to 82-71 with 5:30 left in the third quarter, the Wizards hit three straight 3-pointers to build a 91-71 lead. They led by 27 before emptying their bench midway through the fourth quarter.

Washington’s starters combined to shoot 26 for 36 from the field, with Gortat and Beal leading the way.

The Wizards were in control from the opening tip, scoring 35 points in each of the first two quarters and shooting a blistering 72.2 percent in the first half to take a 70-54 lead. Gortat scored 12 points in the first quarter, including three straight baskets to give the Wizards a 27-12 lead. Washington led by as many as 19 in the second quarter before Jason Richardson hit a 3-pointer right before the first-half buzzer.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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