How to watch Sixers vs. Wizards Game 5: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

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Everything you need to know for Sixers-Wizards Game 5 with Embiid sidelined originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Sixers on Wednesday night will have a second chance to close out the Wizards and win their first-round series. 

Here are the essentials for Game 5:

  • When: 7 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 6:15 p.m. 

  • Where: Wells Fargo Center 

  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia 

  • Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the MyTeams app 

And here are three storylines to watch:

Adjustments without Embiid

The Sixers announced Wednesday afternoon that Joel Embiid is out for Game 5 with a small right meniscus tear in his right knee. He's considered day to day, according to the team. 

For Washington, Davis Bertans is out with a right calf strain. ESPN reported Tuesday he’ll need four to six weeks to recover. Russell Westbrook is available after being listed as questionable with a right ankle sprain prior to Games 3 and 4.

As long as Ben Simmons does not have foul trouble the way he did in Game 4, we presume he’ll play substantial minutes at center. Dwight Howard and Mike Scott were the Sixers’ other Embiid replacements after he left the game Wednesday night, combining for 31 minutes. 

Stylistically, the Sixers are a very different team when Embiid doesn’t suit up. Simmons needs to be featured in some way or the other offensively, whether that’s taking advantage of his superior quickness against an opposing big man, screening and rolling, driving and kicking the ball out to shooters around him, or playing a hybrid role. Head coach Doc Rivers adamantly defended Simmons after the Wizards intentionally sent him to the foul line late in Game 4 and the 24-year-old made 4 of 8 attempts over the final 2:47.

Back to 100 percent 

The Sixers will be allowed to host a full-capacity crowd Wednesday night for the first time since March 11, 2020. 

The NBA suspended its season that night after Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The Sixers have gone 31-7 in games at Wells Fargo Center this season, counting Games 1 and 2 against the Wizards. Attendance was at 50 percent of capacity for those wins. 

Round 1 of the playoffs across the league has included numerous incidents of line-crossing fan behavior, including two in this series. A Sixers fan poured popcorn on an injured Russell Westbrook in Game 2. In Game 4 at Capital One Arena, a fan ran onto the court during play. Everyone involved with Wednesday’s game is hoping that’s the end of it for the series. 

“That was just some dumba-- s---,” Tobias Harris said of the fan running onto the floor. “That was it. I don’t know. I don’t know what you really want the NBA to do. I know people have been stuck in the house for a long time, social media’s a big thing, so everyone wants clout some way or the other. He got his 15 seconds of fame. That was it, really.”

What’s next for Maxey? 

The playoffs continue to look like a comfortable stage for Tyrese Maxey.

The Sixers rookie scored 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting in Game 4, with 12 of those points coming after the Wizards took a 92-78 lead late in the third quarter. 

“I thought he was great,” Rivers said. “I thought he struggled in the first half, honestly, for whatever reason. But in the second half, I thought he was fantastic. He was going downhill. I thought he made some good defensive plays, as well. He was involved rebounding. He really, really showed well tonight. I’m very happy for him.”

There are basketball reasons for how well Maxey has taken to the postseason, among them his off-the-dribble burst and impressive avoidance of turnovers. His ready-for-anything mindset has helped, too. Big minutes could be in store Wednesday given Embiid’s absence. 

“My mom always told me before games to imagine what you’re going to do in the game before the game,” Maxey said Monday. “Take time and imagine what you’re going to do and how you want the game to play out in your head. I still do that to this day, and just really try to get mentally prepared before the game. 

“I try to put my phone down, get off social media. I don’t really like to talk to people. I’ve been like that for a minute now. Just lock in on the task at hand.”