They had to survive a scare late but the Wizards held on kept their season alive with a 122-114 win.
After losing the previous two games by 54 points, the Washington franchise had a lot going for them in this must-win contest.
Offensively, Bradley Beal led the way by scoring a game-high 27 points while Westbrook recorded his 12th career playoff triple-double, rising to third all-time, with 19 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists.
Russell Westbrook tonight:- StatMuse (@statmuse) June 1, 2021
21 REB (playoff career-high)
He's the second Wizards player ever with a 20r/10a playoff game, joining Wes Unseld in 1971. pic.twitter.com/xFVJskdYDF
However, more importantly, the superstar backcourt duo received the support they need as five other players scored in double figures.
Rui Hachimura finished with a double-double of 20 points and 13 rebounds in 41 minutes on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, Robin Lopez chipped-in with 16 points in 18 minutes off the bench on 8-of-11 shooting, starting center Daniel Gafford scored 12 and blocked five shots in his 25 minutes of action.
Rui Hachimura (20 PTS, 13 REB) and Daniel Gafford (12 PTS, 4-4 FGM, 5 BLK) come up BIG for the @WashWizards to keep their season going! #NBAPlayoffs- NBA (@NBA) June 1, 2021
Game 5 ⏩ Wed, 7pm/et, NBA TV pic.twitter.com/74CNgq6h5p
"He's growing up right in front of our eyes," Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said postgame of second-year player Hachimura.
On the flip side, the 76ers had to battle a lot of adversity - Joel Embiid exiting the game in the first quarter to not return with right knee soreness, Ben Simmons, dealing with foul trouble, only played 25 minutes and Tobias Harris scored 21 points but was finding it tough to knock down shots efficiently (8-24 FGs).
"I thought the foul trouble was more," 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said postgame.
"Obviously, losing Joel is No. 1 right and then being in foul trouble as well. Those are the two things that hurt us. We had Danny in foul trouble, Ben in foul trouble, Joel out of the game. So, on the fly, we were trying to find the right line-up."
And still, it was a close game.
"I wasn't focused on their injuries," Brooks said postgame when asked about Embiid. "We've had enough things to worry about here. The last thing I worry about is the other team, we just have to play our game."
With this victory, the Wizards have forced a Game 5 which is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
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