Damian Lillard is incredible. That is really all I wanted to say. To score 55 points on just 24 attempts is out of this world, but for two of those to come down three points in order to force overtime and double overtime is just insanity. However, the Trail Blazers’ poor defense and missed opportunities have Portland staring at elimination.
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Washington Wizards at Philadelphia 76ers (-6.5, 230.5)
Joel Embiid has been diagnosed with a small meniscus tear in his right knee and will not play tonight as he recovers. Without him on the floor Philadelphia becomes an entirely different team that will struggle to find consistent offense. When Embiid is off the floor this season the 76ers have posted an offensive rating of 108.4 and they are outscored by 1.1 points per 100 possessions. Their defense, which has been fantastic all season long, is how this version of Philadelphia gets it done. Without Embiid they hold opponents to 109.5 points per 100 possessions, a defensive rating which ranks in the 81st percentile among qualified lineups. Since this team is so limited on offense they must suffocate opponents on the defensive end of the floor, and they have been able to do that without Embiid.