NBA regular season

Joel Embiid pours in 34 as 76ers down Nets

Joel Embiid pours in 34 as 76ers down Nets

HEATED. Sixers center Joel Embiid exchanges words with Nets forward Kevin Durant in front of Sixers' Seth Curry during the second half.

Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Sixers slip past the Nets even with Kevin Durant and James Harden combining for 66 points

Joel Embiid scored 34 points and converted the tiebreaking three-point play with 3:14 remaining as the Philadelphia 76ers made all the plays down the stretch in a 110-102 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in New York on Thursday, December 30 (Friday, December 31, Manila time).

Embiid shot 11-of-23 from the floor and notched at least 30 points for a seventh straight road game. His hoop and subsequent free throw started Philadelphia’s game-ending 13-5 run.

The game was tied at 97-97 after Brooklyn’s James Harden converted the putback of a Nic Claxton miss with 3:24 remaining. On the next possession, Embiid muscled his way to the rim, absorbed the contact from LaMarcus Aldridge by hitting a short jumper and converted the foul shot for a 100-97 lead.

After the Nets’ Kevin Durant hit a 15-footer with 3:03 remaining, Philadelphia’s Tyrese Maxey hit an open corner three-pointer with 2:43 remaining and subsequently sank a 16-footer that gave Philadelphia a 108-100 lead with 84 seconds left.

Embiid iced Philadelphia’s third straight win by converting a layup with 15.3 seconds left for the final margin.

Maxey added 25 points and hit five of Philadelphia’s 13 three-pointers. Seth Curry added 17 points for the Sixers, who shot 42% on a night when they were coached by assistant Dan Burke after head coach Doc Rivers was placed in COVID-19 protocol.

Philadelphia won despite placing Tyler Johnson and Myles Powell in protocol on Thursday, where they joined teammate Danny Green.

Durant returned from missing three games in the NBA’s health and safety protocol and scored 33 points. 

Harden produced his second triple-double in three games since returning from the protocol with 33 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists.

The Nets, who shot 45.7% from the floor, dropped their second straight home game.

Embiid scored 16 points as Philadelphia shot 53.3% and took a 39-31 lead after the opening quarter. 

Philadelphia led by 11 in the second quarter, fell behind, then grabbed a 55-54 halftime lead when Embiid banked in a triple with 30.9 seconds left.

Consecutive three-pointers by Durant gave Brooklyn a 78-71 lead with 3:53 remaining in the third quarter, but the Sixers ended the period with a 13-4 run to take an 84-82 lead on Maxey’s trey with 56.8 seconds left. –