From The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — James Harden had 27 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds in his 76ers debut, Joel Embiid added 34 points and 10 rebounds and Philadelphia beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 133-102 on Friday night.
Philadelphia finally got to see their star duo working together after Harden missed his first two games after the Brooklyn trade with a hamstring injury. The results have been promising, especially where Embiid and Harden thrive – at the free-throw line.
Embiid, who had 21 free throws in a double-header loss to Minnesota in November, was 11 of 13 off the line. Harden was 8 of 9 while the 76ers finished 30 of 36 overall.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 25 points and D’Angelo Russell had 21. But the Timberwolves couldn’t repeat the dramatic win in Philadelphia earlier this season.
The 76ers didn’t have Harden in November — or Ben Simmons, who was traded to Brooklyn for Harden along with Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round draft picks. Harden, the 2018 MVP, had not played since February 2 due to the injury, delaying his pairing with Embiid.
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NEW YORK (AP) — Tyler Herro had 25 points, Jimmy Butler had 23 and Miami surpassed RJ Barrett’s career-high 46 points to beat New York.
Kyle Lowry added 19 points in the Heat’s first game after the All-Star break after they tied with Chicago for the best record in the Eastern Conference. Bam Adebayo finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds.
Miami got off to a slow start in resuming its schedule, then closed most of the Knicks beyond Barrett to take its winning streak to a season-high six games.
Barrett hit six 3-pointers and grabbed nine rebounds on his return after a four-game absence with a sprained left ankle, and his best game as a pro would have been even better had he not shot 14-for-22 from the free throw line . The Knicks have lost four straight.
SPURS 157, WIZARDS 153, 2OT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Dejounte Murray had 31 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds and San Antonio outlasted Washington in double overtime in the NBA’s highest-scoring game this season.
Keldon Johnson netted a career-high 32 points and Jakob Poeltl added a career-high 28 points for the Spurs. They’ve won five of seven to take coach Gregg Popovich within a win of Lenny Wilkens’ NBA-record 1,335.
Kyle Kuzma hit his season-high with 36 points for the Wizards. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 24 points and Raul Neto had season-highs with 22 points and nine assists. The Wizards fell to 3-3 since losing star Bradley Beal to season-ending left wrist surgery.
Both teams achieved best performances of the season. Murray missed potential winning shots in both the rule and first overtime, but he hit two free throws with 13.6 seconds left in the second OT to seal them.
PHOENIX (AP) — CJ McCollum continued his sparkling start with New Orleans, scoring 32 points to help the Pelicans beat NBA-leading Phoenix.
McCollum has averaged about 30 points in six games since joining the Pelicans from his longtime home in Portland. The 6-foot-3 guard made 11 of 18 shots from the field. Brandon Ingram added 28 points.
It was a rare loss for the Suns, who are still adjusting to life without injured All-Star point guard Chris Paul. They had won eight times in a row and 19 out of 20.
The Suns played their second game without Paul, who fractured his thumb on February 16 against the Rockets. He could miss the regular season, although the team hopes he’ll be back in time for the playoffs.
Devin Booker led Phoenix by 30 points.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Donovan Mitchell hit a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored 33 points to help Utah beat Dalla.
Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points, Mike Conley had 15 and Rudy Gobert finished with 14 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks.
Luka Doncic had 23 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds for Dallas. Dwight Powell had a season high with 22 points.
Donner 129, Pacemaker 125, OT
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 36 points and made the crucial 3-point game with 20.4 seconds remaining in overtime to push Oklahoma City past Indiana.
Tre Mann ended up adding 22 points to help Oklahoma City go on a two-game losing streak and a five-game slip in the series. The Thunder lost at home to NBA leader Phoenix the night before.
Buddy Hield led Indiana with 29 points. The Pacers lost for the eighth time in nine games.
CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre Jr. each scored 23 points, and Charlotte came out of the All-Star break and looked with renewed energy Friday night against the Toronto Raptors.
Montrezl Harrell added 20 points for the Hornets. After losing nine out of 10 before the All-Star break, Charlotte was never behind and led by 41 points late in the third quarter.
Scottie Barnes had a career-high 28 points for the Raptors.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Chuma Okeke posted a career-high 26 points and Orlando beat Houston in a matchup of the worst teams in each conference.
Wendell Carter Jr. added 24 points and 12 rebounds to help the NBA’s worst Magic end a four-game losing streak.
Jalen Green led Houston by 23 points. The Rockets have lost eight straight games.
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