The Philadelphia 76ers have now won nine of their last 10 games after Joel Embiid beat the San Antonio Spurs in a 137-125 road victory on Friday.
Embiid, who leads the league in scoring at 33.5 points per game, had what seemed like an effortless 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 a career high, while Embiid is also one of six players to average 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 a 47-point second quarter, jumping by 12 at halftime, and the margin was never closer to nine the rest of the way.
Embiid was well supported by Tyrese Maxey off the bench with 25 points (8-of-15 shooting) in 27 minutes, while James Harden finished with 16 points (4-of-10) and eight assists.
For the Spurs, it was an impressive performance from first-round rookie Malaki Branham as he scored 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting, just two days after setting a career-high 22 points (9-of-16). 13) against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.
With the win, the 76ers improved to 34-17, the fourth-best record in the NBA.
The resurgence of the suns continues
The Phoenix Suns (28-26) have climbed back into the top six in the Western Conference after a solid 106-94 road win against the league-leading Boston Celtics (37-16).
Phoenix’s season was on life support a couple of weeks ago as they picked up just two wins in a 14-game stretch while Devin Booker and Chris Paul sat out with injuries, but Paul’s return has ignited a streak of 7-2 of his last nine.
Against the Celtics, Paul led both teams with a game-high eight assists, 15 points (6-of-15) and six rebounds, while Mikal Bridges’ 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting led the Suns in scoring.
It was a night to forget for Celtics MVP candidate Jayson Tatum, shooting just 3-for-15 from the field.
Pacers claim bragging rights over their trade partner
In a clash between All-Stars who traded places last season, Buddy Hield led the Indiana Pacers to a 107-104 home victory against the Sacramento Kings.
These teams became involved in one of the biggest trades of the 2021-22 season when the Pacers sent Domantas Sabonis to the Sacramento Kings for point guard Tyrese Haliburton and Hield, with Sabonis and Haliburton earning All-Star nominations this season on their new equipment.
But it was Hield who rose to the occasion against his former team, scoring a team-high 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting while posting his third double-double of the season with 10 rebounds, and his six assists were his most since October.