The Rundown: Wizards avoid sweep, beat Sixers in Game 4

Published June 1, 2021, 1:00 PMJon Carlos Rodriguez

Behind Russell Westbrook's triple-double, the Wizards were able to stave off elimination with a Game 4 win over the Sixers.


Wizards 122, Sixers 114
Jazz 120, Grizzlies 113

What went down

It was a wild, crazy, and intense night in Washington, in a game where the Wizards’ season hung in the balance. 

The Philadelphia 76ers led early, but a hard fall by their MVP contender Joel Embiid was a bad turn for the top team of the East. Embiid left the game and didn’t return due to an apparent knee injury. 

The Wizards took advantage, particularly their big Daniel Gafford, who finished with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

A fan stormed the court in the third quarter (he was tackled and arrested by security), but this did not distract the Wizards from defending home court and extending the series.

The Sixers were still within striking distance with less than a minute left, Wizards up three. Then Rui Hachimura, embracing the role of third option after Bradley Beal and Westbrook, hit the biggest shot of his career yet with a 3 from the corner to give the Wizards a comfy six-point lead.

A bad shooting night from Westbrook (a terrible 3-of-19 from the field) was saved by the other things he amazingly does on the court. In the end, Westbrook got his 12th playoff career triple-double with a 19-21-14 line. Russ is now third all-time in most playoff triple-doubles.

Game 5 goes back to Philly for more wild, crazy, intense basketball.

Big-time baller

It came at a loss, but De'Anthony Melton stepped up big time for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Melton scored 15 points off the bench, all in the fourth quarter, keeping the Grizzlies close. 

But the Utah Jazz’ own version of a big-time baller wouldn’t allow the W to slip away. Donovan Mitchell hit big shot after big shot, finishing with a game-high 30 points.
What he said

Sixers coach Doc Rivers, standing up for his player Ben Simmons after a loss: 

"You guys keep this Ben Simmons narrative going, which is insane. Ben is not a 40-point guy. I just don’t understand why this is not sinking in in this city. If I’m Ben, I’d get tired of it. Celebrate him and all the things he does well.”

Did you see that?

Ja’s confidence in the playoffs is remarkable. His handles? Equally remarkable: