NBA Wrap January 13th
EMBIID HELPS SIXERS EDGE THE HEAT IN OVERTIME NAIL BITER
Joel Embiid delivered a monster performance that was required as the Philadelphia 76ers snuck by the Miami Heat in Overtime 137-134 to halt a three-game losing streak.
Embiid had 45 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists and a career-high 5 steals, while three point specialist Danny Green tied a franchise record nine threes by Dana Barros in 1995 to end up with 29.
Aussie Ben Simmons made his return after missing two games with knee soreness and was relatively subdue finishing with only 5 points but had 12 assists in 32 minutes before fouling out.
Tyler Herro had a career-high 34 for the Miami Heat surpassing his previous high of 31 last game against the Washington Wizards, and Duncan Robinson scored 26.
Both teams traded buckets down the stretch with Tyrese Maxey nailing a triple to put Philadelphia up by five before Herro scored five consecutive Heat points to level it all at 115.
Under a minute left, Herro made a high IQ play when he drew Embiid toward him before lobbing up the pass for Rookie Precious Achiuwa for an alley-oop dunk to stretch Miami’s lead to four.
But Philadelphia weren’t done yet, down by two and with possession the 76ers would give the ball to ‘The Process’ who made a tough 21 footer to tie the game and force Overtime.
The extra period would be as thrilling when Danny Green standing from the baseline to secured a vital offensive board of an Isaiah Joe miss to kick it back out to Dakota Mathias who coolly sunk the three for the 76ers to retake the lead.
Miami would have one last chance to force double overtime when Kelly Olynyk threw a long outlet pass to veteran Andre Iguodala who missed an extremely tough fadeaway over Embiid handing the 76ers a nailbiter.
DURANT LEADS NETS OVER NUGGETS
Kevin Durant put up a near triple-double 34 points, 9 rebounds and 13 assists as the Brooklyn Nets erased an 18 point second half deficit to defeat the Denver Nuggets 122-116.
Nets’ sixth man Caris LeVert had 20 points and 6 assists but it was Durant who answered the call without his superstar teammate Kyrie Irving who missed a fourth straight game due to personal reasons.
With Brooklyn leading by a solitary possession Durant would get to his spot and land a tough short 7 footer, then after a Jamal Murray miss for Denver, the 2014 MVP on an island with Will Barton crossed him up before calmly steeping back swishing the triple to put the game beyond doubt.
Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic led the way with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists, Will Barton 22 points and Jamal Murray had 20.
Denver were without starting shooting guard Gary Harris due to unspecified personal reasons.
The Nets are back in action tomorrow with a short trip over the bridge to face cross-town rivals the New York Knicks. Denver after a 2-1 Eastern trip returns home for the first of a three-game home stand beginning with Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
PACERS STRETCH AWAY LATE FROM WARRIORS
Centre Myles Turner had his best game of the season finishing with 22 points and 12 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers pulled away late from the Golden State Warriors 104-95.
Indiana playing on a back-to-back after losing to Sacramento got all-round contributions from Domantas Sabonis who had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists, while Aaron Holiday had 16 points and 12 assists off the bench.
Andrew Wiggins led the Warriors with 22 points while Steph Curry scored 20 as the team for only second time this season were held under 100 points.
The game was evenly poised with both teams locked at 90 apiece with 3:37 left before the Pacers buckled down to get six consecutive stops going on a 14-5 to pull away to improve to 3-1 on the road.
Indiana’s five-game Western swing continues with a stop to face Damian Lillard and the Portland Trailblazers. Golden State heads to the Rocky Mountains for a matchup with Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.
In other results around the association:
LeBron James had 26 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and Anthony Davis posted 19 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks as the Los Angeles Lakers cruised past the Houston Rockets for a second consecutive game 117-100.
Christian Wood led Houston with 18 points and 8 rebounds while James Harden had 16 points and 6 assists but was only 5 of 16 from the floor.
Guard Lonnie Walker IV had a team-high 24 points, while Aussie Paddy Mills was influential again off the bench with 17 as the San Antonio Spurs won it’s fourth game in five beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-102.
Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the side with 20 points bringing his season average to a career-high 20.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.3 assists on 49.3% shooting.
The Utah Jazz easily handled the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-87 behind All-Star Donovan Mitchell’s 27 and Bojan Bogdanovic who had 20.
Only two games ago, Utah broke its franchise record for most threes in a regular season game with 25 against Milwaukee, today almost tying the milestone finishing with 24 threes on 45 attempts.
Small Forward Cedi Osman scored 17 for Cleveland who are the only squad (98.9) to average under 100 points a game.
Today’s Boston Celtics – Chicago Bulls game is one of six this season to be postponed due to the League’s Health and Safety Protocols.
By Juri Bilcich