The Philadelphia 76ers aim for their fifth straight win and ninth in their past 10 games when they visit the Washington Wizards on Thursday. Philadelphia has won by an average of six points during the streak with Monday's 103-94 home win over the Utah Jazz representing the largest differential.
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The 76ers are just 5-6 on the road and are still very much a work in progress in the eyes of veteran power forward Al Horford. "We're making strides, but we're not where we need to be. We just have to continue to work," Horford told reporters after the win over the Jazz. "The good thing is that it's only December. We're starting to understand how coach (Brett Brown) wants us to play, and we're getting better each day." The Wizards have lost three straight games and five of their past six and learned they will be without center Thomas Bryant (stress reaction in his right foot) for at least three weeks prior to Tuesday's 127-120 home loss to the Orlando Magic. "We've got to work with what we've got," shooting guard Bradley Beal said after the setback. "We can't make excuses and on top of that it's giving a lot of guys the opportunity to come in and earn minutes. They're going to make the best of it. We're just going to keep chipping away."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCS Philadelphia-Plus, NBCS Washington
ABOUT THE 76ERS (15-6): Horford tallied 12 points in the first quarter against Utah and finished with 17 points for his sixth straight double-digit effort while also contributing eight rebounds and five assists. "I was happy I was able to get it going there early," Horford said. "I think it all starts with our defense. We were able to get stops and then get out and run." Forward Tobias Harris recorded 26 points and nine rebounds for his second consecutive 20-point effort after failing to reach the mark in the previous four games.
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (6-13): Beal notched his fourth 40-point outing of the season as he poured in 42 points during the loss to Orlando. The 26-year-old made 16-of-30 field-goal attempts as he continues to carry the load though point guard Isaiah Thomas chipped in with a season-best 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Rookie Rui Hachimura moved into the center position with Bryant sidelined and he contributed 15 points and six rebounds one game after erupting for a season-high 30 in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
1. The 76ers have won four of the past six meetings.
2. Philadelphia C Joel Embiid had 16 points and 11 rebounds against Utah for his fourth consecutive double-double and 13th of the season.
3. Washington G C.J. Miles underwent surgery on his left wrist on Wednesday and there is no timetable for his return.
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Key Players to Watch
- AnkleMid Feb | out
Wagner has been sidelined due to a left ankle sprain, and he is expected to be out until at least the middle of February.
- GroinMid Feb | out
Hachimura has been sidelined with a groin contusion, and he is likely to remain out of the lineup until at least the All-Star break.
- AnkleProb Thurs | probable
Pasecniks has been absent from the lineup during the previous two games due to a left ankle sprain, but he is likely to suit up Thursday against the Cavaliers.
- AnkleProb Mon | probable
McRae left the last game with a sprained left ankle, but he is likely to be available for Monday's clash with the Pistons.
- ShoulderProb Wed | probable
Beal has a sore right shoulder, but he is expected to be in Wednesday's lineup versus the Bulls.
- FootProb Sun | probable
Bryant will likely be available against the Jazz on Sunday after recovering from a stress reaction in his right foot.
- LegProb Sun | probable
Beal has been sidelined with soreness in his right lower leg, and but is expected to return to the lineup Sunday against the Jazz.
- HamstringMid Feb | out
Richardson is likely to miss two to three weeks due to a left hamstring strain.
- HandEarly Feb | out
Embiid sustained a torn radial collateral ligament in his left hand and had surgery. He is expected to be out of commission until at least the beginning of February.
- HandProb Mon | probable
Horford has a left hand sprain, but he is expected to play Monday versus the Nets.