The Philadelphia 76ers routed Washington earlier this season and now look to beat the Wizards on back-to-back nights. The 76ers led by as many as 35 points in a 123-98 home triumph on Nov. 30 and now host the Wizards on Tuesday before the scene shifts to Washington for Wednesday's back end of the home-and-home set.
Philadelphia has won three straight games and six of its past eight and improved to 17-3 at home with Saturday's 106-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Swingman Jimmy Butler (upper respiratory infection) is expected back after a two-game absence amid reports he recently challenged coach Brett Brown about his role in the offense. Washington improved to 5-17 on the road with a stellar 116-98 trouncing of the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday that was certainly one of its best performances of a disappointing campaign. "It has to be up there, there's no question," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said afterward. "We battled. We played against one of the best teams in basketball. They've got a lot of talent. They've got three All-Stars on the floor and I think we battled them and did a lot of things well."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCS Washington, NBCS Philadelphia LINE: 76ers -8.5
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (16-24): Small forward Otto Porter Jr. had 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots in 24 minutes off the bench in the rout of the Thunder. Porter has served in a reserve role in three straight games since returning from a 10-game absence due to a knee injury and Brooks said he is considering keeping Porter in a bench role. "Otto just wants to play and play well and play the right way," Brooks told reporters. "If we keep him there for a while, who knows. But we have been playing some good basketball. I know we haven't won every game, but we've been playing hard, and we have to keep doing it. But he has a nice rhythm coming off the bench the last few games."
ABOUT THE 76ERS (26-14): Butler isn't always meshing with fellow stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons with Embiid saying the trio will "keep working on it," while Brown downplayed the turmoil. "I didn't feel like any of that crossed the line," Brown told reporters of Butler's strong assertions. "He's vocal. He's all in and he has opinions, but it's instigated by me. None of this should surprise anybody. He's got opinions. He wants to be heard. And he should be heard." Simmons said he has no issues with Butler - "Jimmy's been great, amazing for me," he said.
1. The 76ers won five of the past eight meetings after losing 10 of the previous 11 matchups.
2. Washington SG Bradley Beal scored 25 points against Oklahoma City for his 31st 20-point effort of the campaign.
3. Simmons recorded 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists against Dallas for his sixth triple-double of the season and 18th of his career.
PREDICTION: 76ers 110, Wizards 106 Bet Now
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