LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Joel Embiid enhanced his Most Valuable Player credentials with a 43-point masterclass as the Philadelphia 76ers bought back to successful methods with victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday (March 7).
Sixers massive man Embiid had 14 rebounds and two assists as Philadelphia pulled away within the fourth quarter for a convincing 121-106 win.
It was the tenth time this season that Embiid has posted 40 points or extra as effectively as 10 or extra rebounds in a single sport.
The Sixers had been buoyed by the return of star signing James Harden, who was rested for Saturday’s defeat on the highway to Eastern Conference leaders the Miami Heat.
Harden’s return to the beginning line-up gave Embiid time and house to work his magic after he was stymied by Miami’s defence on Saturday.
“He just got it in rhythm,” Sixers coach Doc Rivers stated of Embiid’s efficiency.
“We didn’t pressure it. We bought him in the correct spots. Joel one-on-one could be very tough.
“He’s healthy, he’s running the floor, he’s beating people down the floor.”
Harden completed with 16 points and 14 assists, whereas rising star Tyrese Maxey added 17 points – 13 of them coming within the fourth quarter.
Georges Niang caught the attention with 14 points from the bench, 12 of them coming from three-point vary, together with two late within the fourth quarter.
The Sixers improved to 40-24 with the win, second within the Eastern Conference standings.
Rivers, nevertheless, believes there’s loads of room for enchancment.
“We won the game, but I can’t say we played great tonight. We know that,” he stated.
“We’ve got to play better. We were sloppy at times on offence, stagnant. We have to figure that out and we will. We’re a team that is progressing all the time, getting better, but we’re not there yet.”
The Bulls fell to 39-26 and have now misplaced 5 straight video games.
Zach LaVine led the Chicago scoring with 24 points, whereas DeMar DeRozan added 23.
Elsewhere on Monday, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich edged nearer to proudly owning the report for many wins in National Basketball Association historical past after his workforce defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 117-110.
The victory means Popovich is now stage with Don Nelson on 1,335 profession common season wins. Popovich can move the report on Wednesday when the Spurs face the Toronto Raptors at house.
The 73-year-old Popovich, who has been with the Spurs since 1996 and has led the workforce to 5 NBA championships throughout his 26 years with the membership, reached Nelson’s report wins tally in 370 fewer video games.
In different video games on Monday, Eastern Conference leaders Miami prolonged their successful streak to 3 video games with a snug 123-106 rout over lowly Houston in Florida.
Tyler Herro poured in 31 points, and Jimmy Butler completed with 21 as the Heat improved to 44-22 on the prime of the standings.
Bam Adebayo added 18 points, whereas the Heat additionally welcomed back (*43*) Oladipo, who returned from almost a year-long damage absence with 11 points in slightly below quarter-hour on the court docket.
In Denver, Nikola Jokic scored a 32-point triple-double as the Nuggets despatched the Golden State Warriors spiralling to a fifth straight loss.
Jokic completed with 32 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists as the Nuggets romped to a 131-124 victory towards an under-powered Warriors workforce lacking Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.