By DICK SCANLON – Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers made the most of the Orlando Magic.
Embiid had 35 points and 16 rebounds and the 76ers kept piling up, finally beating Orlando 116-114 in overtime on Sunday night.
Trailing 17 points in the first half and 10 points in the fourth quarter, the Sixers were 1:25 at OT behind 113-109. Orlando has the worst record in the Eastern Conference at 18-51.
“That was a big win for us. I know people say, ‘Oh, this is Orlando Magic.’ But they beat the Timberwolves the other day and the Timberwolves came back and beat the Miami Heat,” said Georges Niang, who scored two big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. “That should tell you something about the NBA.”
James Harden hit one of two free throws with 6.7 seconds left in overtime to give Philadelphia a two-point lead. Cole Anthony missed a 3-pointer on the horn for Orlando.
Anthony’s three 3-pointers had given the Magic the lead in the final few minutes.
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“[The last shot]could have gone in and we’d be in a different mood,” Anthony said. “It’s a game that could easily have gone in our favour.”
Harden ended with 26 points and Tobias Harris added 25 and nine rebounds for the 76ers.
Wendell Carter Jr. had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead Orlando, who narrowly missed a second upset in three days.
“We’re giving ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter,” Carter said. “We’re going to be in that position a lot, and we’re going to win some and lose some. It’s a good experience.”
Embiid, who also had seven assists, set up Tyrese Maxey for a 3-pointer just before the fourth-quarter buzzer, but Maxey missed. Embiid missed two foul shots with 1:39 left after making his first 15 free throws of the game.
The Magic led 57-40 late in the first half, in which the 76ers scored 33%.
“I’d like to get off to a good start, but it’s almost like we need to get a slap in the mouth before we activate our defensive intensity,” said Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers. “That defensive line in the third quarter was phenomenal, but that’s how we have to start the game.”
A 10-foot shot from Niang and free throws from Harden and Embiid helped reduce Orlando’s lead to 12 at halftime.
The Magic went almost seven minutes without a field goal in the third quarter. But Markelle Fultz capped a Magic Bank rally with a couple of assists and a 3-pointer of her own for a 10-point lead with 10:03 left.
Harden responded with four free throws and Niang hit two 3-pointers to get the 76s back in play. Embiid made a 3-pointer to put Philadelphia 101-98, their first lead since the first quarter.
76ers: Niang had 16 points in 36 minutes off the bench. . . . The 76ers held Orlando without a field goal for the final 3:50 of regulation. . . . F Danny Green missed a third straight game with a finger injury.
Magic: The Magic has lost to Philadelphia eight times in a row, including all four encounters this season. . . .. Fultz, playing in his sixth game of the season, had eight points and 11 assists in 19 minutes. . . . After missing their first four tries, the Magic shot a healthy 42 percent (18 to 43) from 3-point range. . . . Mo Bamba, who had 27 points and 12 rebounds in Friday night’s win over Minnesota, didn’t score in the first half. but
76ers: Play Denver at home Monday night.
Magic: Play Brooklyn at home on Tuesday night.
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