LOS ANGELES, USA – Cameroon international Joel Embiid led the way for the Philadelphia 76ers with a 42-point display in a high-scoring 132-127 victory over the Suns in NBA action in Phoenix on Wednesday, January 2 (Thursday, January 3, Manila time).
Embiid exploded for 30 points in the 1st half alone before eventually finishing with 18 rebounds and 2 assists.
Ben Simmons had 29 points while JJ Redick weighed in with 27 points as the Sixers were made to work hard for the win down the stretch after a determined Phoenix fightback.
Devin Booker led the Suns scoring with 37 points but Phoenix remain firmly rooted to the foot of the Western Conference with a 9-30 record.
The Sixers – who improved their record to 25-14 – pulled off the win even minus starting forwards Jimmy Butler and Wilson Chandler, who were both sidelined due to respiratory infections.
@JoelEmbiid goes off for 42 PTS (ties season-high), 18 REB in the @sixers road victory in PHX! #HereTheyCome pic.twitter.com/yJCV3hWO0J — NBA (@NBA) January 3, 2019
Gordon Hayward delivered a season-high 35-point haul from the bench to give the Boston Celtics a 115-102 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the TD Garden.
Hayward, who returned to fitness this season after missing most of the 2017-2018 campaign following a horrific leg injury, tormented Minnesota with a superb display of shooting in the 2nd quarter and down the stretch to lead Boston to victory.
"He got back in the gym this morning, you could tell he was going to play very well," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Hayward. "He's feeling better day by day, and hasn't had any setbacks recently which is positive."
The Celtics, who were once again without Kyrie Irving (eye injury), also had big contributions from Terry Rozier, who finished with 16 points, Al Horford (15) and Marcus Morris (12). – Rappler.com