With Embiid declared out for Game 5, the Philadelphia 76ers had the opportunity to close out their series without their best player - a league MVP finalist.
In the regular season without Embiid, the team went 10-11 in the 21 games and in the first half of Game 5, things weren't looking great with Philadelphia down for most of the first two quarters including their biggest deficit of eight.
However, led by the trio of Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons and Seth Curry, the East's top seed turned things around in the second half. Thus, clinching the game 129-112 and advancing to the Conference Semifinals for the third time in four years.
"It was really a great team win," 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said postgame. "I just love how they played. We got down early, no panic set in. I really believed that they believed they were the better today."
Curry had a game-high 30 points, 12 of which came in the third quarter, while Simmons recorded his third career playoff triple-double with 19 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds to go along with his two steals.
.@sixers @BenSimmons25 has his 3rd career playoff triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.- Sixers Stats (@SixersStats) June 3, 2021
Per @EliasSports, that breaks a tie w/ HOFer Charles Barkley and moves Simmons into second place all-time in 76ers playoff history, behind only HOFer Wilt Chamberlain (8).
Tobias Harris did a little bit of everything with 28 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals as the 76ers began separating themselves in the third quarter, where they outscored the Wizards 38-31 and then pilled it on in the final period by outscoring them 26-18.
"We didn't have a lot of time to work on a lot of stuff but they did it," Rivers continued. "I'm just really proud of all of them."
"Ben was incredible. Tobias was incredible. Seth, what can you say but everyone else was good. Tyrese came in, Furk gave us a big lift. I thought Dwight Howard in the second half was huge. It was what you would call a 'all-hands-in' team win for sure."
Without Embiid, six different 76ers played finished in double figures - an effort that helped them overcome a 32-point performance from Bradley Beal and a 24-point, 10-assist double-double from Russell Westbrook.
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