Big nights by Embiid, Simmons too much for Spurs in Philly
Joel Embiid scored 33 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers past the San Antonio Spurs 122-120 on Wednesday. Ben Simmons secured his eighth triple-double of the season with 21 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds as the Sixers won their second in a row.
It was Embiid's 40th double-double of the season as Philadelphia managed another win without guard Jimmy Butler, who sat out with a sore wrist. JJ Redick shot 6 of 13 from 3-point range for 19 points.
DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 26 points while Patty Mills and Rudy Gay added 17 apiece. Marco Belinelli had 16. Belinelli had a chance to tie the game or give the Spurs the lead as San Antonio had the ball with 1.1. seconds left. But Simmons knocked the ball away from Belinelli to preserve the win.
Embiid briefly went to the locker room midway through the second quarter, reportedly to stretch his sore lower back. He was considered questionable to play throughout the day. Simmons' 10th assist went to Corey Brewer for a layup with 7.9 seconds left in the first half. DeRozan then hit a pair of free throws to draw the Spurs to within 67-64 at halftime. DeRozan paced the Spurs with 14 points while Bryn Forbes knocked down four 3-pointers to keep them close in the first 24 minutes.
Embiid led the Sixers with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the half. With little more than five minutes left in the third quarter, the Spurs went on a 9-0 run to grab a 92-85 advantage with 3:25 left in the period.
Embiid finished with 11 points in the third and keyed a spurt to close the quarter with the score tied at 96-96. DeRozan's 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting helped San Antonio stay even. Later, Mills hit a 3-pointer from the wing for a 108-103 Spurs lead with 7:40 remaining.
Belinelli later drained a trey from the baseline for a 115-109 lead with 4:54 left, forcing Sixers head coach Brett Brown to take a timeout. Belinelli also knocked down another tough 3-pointer from the same baseline to go ahead 120-112 with 2:46 remaining. But the Sixers scored the next nine points, highlighted by a four-point play from Redick to put Philadelphia back ahead 121-120 with a minute left.
DeRozan missed a potential go-ahead layup with less than five seconds to play and a Brewer free throw closed out the scoring. --Field Level Media
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