NEW YORK, USA – Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid scored 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds Monday, January 21, as the 76ers withstood a 37-point performance from James Harden in a 121-93 NBA victory over the Houston Rockets.
Harden notched his 20th straight game with 30 or more points, but the Rockets were no match for the 76ers in a sometimes testy encounter. (WATCH: Harden records historic 19th straight game with 30+ points)
Embiid added 2 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocked shots, provoking the ire of Harden in the final minute of the first half when he leaned in to guard the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player as he drove toward the basket.
Harden hit the court and as he rose the two traded words, both drawing technical fouls.
Embiid then blocked a Harden shot from behind as the half ended with the 76ers leading 65-50.
Philadelphia out-scored the Rockets 29-13 in the third period pushing their lead to as many as 31 points. With the game out of reach, Harden sat out a fourth quarter that saw both team’s starters mostly on the bench.
“We stayed to one philosophy and that’s moving the ball, sharing the ball, playing together,” Embiid said of how the 76ers dominated despite the absence of Jimmy Butler. “I think we did that pretty well tonight.”
Elsewhere, Trevor Ariza scored 20 points and Otto Porter added 19 off the bench to lead seven Washington players in double figures in the Wizards’ 101-87 home triumph over Detroit.
D’Angelo Russell scored 31 points and handed out 8 assists to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 123-94 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Joe Harris added 19 points and Rodions Kurucs scored 16 for the Nets, who won their fourth straight. – Rappler.com