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Joel Embiid scored 37 points and hit a pair of go-ahead free throws with 5.2 seconds remaining as the Philadelphia 76ers rallied down the stretch for a 101-98 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, February 11 (Sunday, February 12, Manila time).
The Sixers outscored the Nets 16-4 over the final 7:20 and beat Brooklyn for the third time in as many meetings when Spencer Dinwiddie’s potentially game-tying, 32-foot three-point attempt was ruled on replay to be after the final buzzer.
Embiid saved the Sixers from a third loss in four games with a key rebound after hitting two clutch jumpers during the team’s late, go-ahead scoring run.
Cam Thomas’ layup with 7:43 left opened a 94-85 lead for the Nets, but the Sixers ripped off a 10-2 spurt to get within 96-95 on a 13-footer by Embiid with 3:56 remaining. Embiid answered Dinwiddie’s dunk with a short jumper to make it 98-97 with 1:34 left, but James Harden missed a three-point attempt nearly a minute later.
With 12.2 seconds left, Dinwiddie lost the ball out of bounds near the baseline.
The Sixers called their final timeout and ran a play for Harden, who missed a layup with 6.2 seconds left. Embiid grabbed the offensive rebound and hit two free throws for a 99-98 lead with 5.2 seconds left.
After a Brooklyn timeout, Mikal Bridges missed a contested layup with 2.4 seconds left and Harden sank two free throws with 0.9 seconds remaining for the final margin before Dinwiddie’s near-miss.
Harden added 29 points in a hostile return to Brooklyn, getting booed every time he touched the ball after he was granted a trade from the Nets to the Sixers last year.
Bridges scored 23 points in his debut for the Nets after being obtained from the Phoenix Suns on Thursday for Kevin Durant. Joe Harris added 18 points for the Nets, Thomas contributed 14, and Cameron Johnson chipped in 12 after being acquired with Bridges.
The Nets held a 60-52 lead by halftime and opened a 68-58 lead when Nic Claxton sped by Embiid for a powerful dunk. They took a 74-62 edge on a jumper by Bridges with four minutes left in the third quarter and held an 82-76 lead heading into the fourth. – Rappler.com