WASHINGTON (AP) John Wall scored 28 points, Bradley Beal rebounded from a rough start to add 25 and the Washington Wizards spoiled the NBA debuts of top picks Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz by beating the Philadelphia 76ers 120-115 on Wednesday night.
The Sixers cut their deficit to two in the final minute of the season opener for both teams.. A pair of Philadelphia turnovers and a 3-point miss by J.J. Redick allowed the Wizards to hold on.
Wall shot 10 of 28 from the floor and had eight assists. Beal, who started 1 of 5 with a dunk, was 12 of 16 from the free throw line.
In a 15-second stretch in the fourth quarter, Wall scored on a layup, swatted away Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot’s shot and passed to Marcin Gortat for a dunk to put Washington up four. Wall scored on an alley-oop from Beal a few minutes later to bring the sellout crowd of 20,356 to its feet.
Simmons, the 2016 No. 1 pick who missed all last season with a foot injury, had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Fultz, the 2017 No. 1 pick, came off the bench to score 10 points.
Sixers forward Robert Covington had 29 points. He was 7 of 11 from 3-point range.
76ers: Jerryd Bayless started in place of Fultz, who missed time during the preseason with shoulder and knee injuries. Bayless had 13 points. … Fans chanted ”Trust the Process” several times during the game, drawing ire from the home crowd.
Wizards: Gortat scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and had 17 rebounds for the game. … Opened at home for the first time since 2011 and for the first time in an 82-game season since 2008.
WHAT MINUTES RESTRICTION?
Sixers coach Brett Brown denied that center Joel Embiid was on a strict minutes restriction of 16 minutes, and with good reason. Embiid played 26:57 and had 18 points – on 7-of-15 shooting – and 13 rebounds.
SMITH FOR ONE NIGHT?
With Markieff Morris out for about the first month of the season after sports hernia surgery, Jason Smith started at power forward for the Wizards in the opener. But Smith left with a sprained shoulder after playing just 7:04 and did not return.
76ers: Host the Boston Celtics on Friday in their home opener.
Wizards: Host the Detroit Pistons on Friday before beginning a four-game Western Conference trip.
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