Embiid delivers ninth win in 76ers’ previous 10 games, Suns get back on track

The Philadelphia 76ers have won nine of their last 10 games after Joel Embiid led the San Antonio Spurs to a 137-125 road win on Friday.

Embiid, who leads the league in scoring with 33.5 points per game, combined for 33 points on 10-of-18 shooting. He also added 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

His 1.1 steals per game this season is tied for his career-high, though Embiid is one of six players averaging at least one steal and one block per game, joining Anthony Davis , Kristaps Porzingis, Jaren Jackson Jr, Jaden McDaniels and Shai Gilgeous -Alexander.

The 76ers took control of the game with 47 points in the second quarter, jumping ahead by 12 at halftime, and never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.

Tyrese Maxey supported Embiid well off the bench with 25 points (eight-of-15 shooting) in 27 minutes, and James Harden finished with 16 points (four-of-10) and eight assists.

For the Spurs, it was a stellar performance from rookie first-rounder Malaki Branham as he scored a career-high 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting, just two days after setting a career-high 22 points (nine of the points). 13) against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

With the win, the 76ers improved to 34-17 – the fourth best record in the NBA.

Resurrection continues

The Phoenix Suns (28-26) have climbed back into the top six of the Western Conference after a strong 106-94 road win against the series-leading Boston Celtics (37-16).

Phoenix’s season was on life support a few weeks ago as they collected just two wins in a 14-game stretch and both Devin Booker and Chris Paul were hurt with injuries, but Paul is 7-2 in his last nine starts.

Against the Celtics, Paul led both teams with a game-high eight assists to go with 15 points (six-of-15) and six rebounds, and Mikal Bridges’ 25 points on nine-of-20 shooting led the Suns in scoring.

It was a night to forget for Celtics MVP candidate Jayson Tatum, shooting just three of 15 from the field.

Pacers claim bragging rights over trade partner

In a showdown between All-Stars who changed places last season, Buddy Hield led the Indiana Pacers to a 107-104 home win against the Sacramento Kings.

These teams were involved in one of the biggest trades of the 2021-2022 campaign when the Pacers sent Domantas Sabonis to the Sacramento Kings for point guard Tyrese Haliburton and Hield, with both Sabonis and Haliburton earning All-Star nods this season on their new teams.

But Hield rose to the occasion against his former side, scoring a team-high 21 points on eight-of-15 shooting while collecting his third double-double of the season with 10 rebounds, and it was his six assists the most since. October.

Leave a comment