By Lewis Gould
The Wiz live to play another night, dodging elimination with a 122-114 Game 4 victory over the 76ers.
The Wizards, trailing the Sixers 3-1 in the series, will now travel to Philadelphia for Game 5 on Wednesday.
They took advantage of the absence of Philadelphia’s top scorer and rebounder, Joel Embiid, who left the game with right knee soreness after the first quarter and did not return.
Trailing 61-60 at halftime, the Wizards took the lead early in the third quarter, getting valuable production out of Rui Hachimura and Daniel Gafford in the second half, who finished the game with 20 and 12 points, respectively. It was Gafford’s first start of the postseason.
Davis Bertans, who’d struggled to find a rhythm earlier in the series, found it in Game 4, scoring 15 points while going 3-for-6 from three-point range and shooting 57.1 percent from the field before exiting the game with a right calf strain in the third quarter. He also would not return, opening the door for Gafford, who wound up playing 26 minutes.
Gafford was exactly what the Wizards needed on defense, delivering five blocks and four total rebounds with a steal.
Russell Westbrook, who was a game-time decision after suffering an ankle injury in Game 2, delivered another triple-double — his second of the series — scoring 19 points with 14 assists, 21 rebounds and two steals.
Bradley Beal finished the game with 27 points, four assists and a steal, turning the ball over seven times.