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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Tyrese Maxey scores 42 points, 76ers outlast Rockets 131-127 without injured Joel Embiid
HOUSTON: Tyrese Maxey had 42 points and the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers outlasted the Houston Rockets 131-127 on Friday night.
Philadelphia superstar Joel Embiid was out for a third consecutive game with a sprained right ankle and will miss at least one more game with the 76ers ruling him out Saturday night at Chicago. Nicolas Batum sat out for a fifth game with a strained right hamstring.
Tobias Harris added 22 points for the 76ers. They won for the fourth time in five games and sent Houston to their third straight loss.
Fred VanVleet had 33 points and 10 rebounds for Houston. Jalen Green added 31 points and Alperen Sengun had 28 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.
THUNDER 119 NUGGETS 93
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 40 points, 17 in the decisive third quarter and Oklahoma City overcame another efficient shooting game from Nikola Jokic to beat Denver.
Gilgeous-Alexander had 40 points or more for the fifth time this season and was four shy of his career best set last season. He was 14 of 20 from the field and made all 10 of his free throws.
Oklahoma City have won three straight and eight of its last 10 to surge past Denver in the Northwest Division. The Nuggets, who had their six-game winning streak snapped, have lost just three home games this season and the last two have come against the Thunder.
Jokic, who finished with 19 points, made 9 of 10 shots and over the last two games he is 20 of 21 from the field. Jokic had 10 rebounds but committed seven turnovers.
CELTICS 120 RAPTORS 118
Jaylen Brown returned from a one-game absence to score 31 points and feed Luke Kornet for the tiebreaking basket in Boston’s victory over Toronto.
After Scottie Barnes tied it at 116 with a 3-pointer with 47 seconds remaining, Boston found Kornet for a dunk with 32 seconds left. Boston’s lead stood at 119-117 when Barnes drove down the lane but couldn’t finish. Down three after replay determined that a foul occurred before the final horn, Toronto’s Pascal Siakam went to the line with 1.4 seconds left. He made the first but missed the second as the Celtics melted away the remaining time.
The Celtics, who were without starters Jayson Tatum and Kristaps Porzingis along with key reserve Al Horford, are an NBA-leading 25-6 and 16-0 at home. Boston won its fifth straight and 10th game in 11 tries.
Barnes led Toronto with 30 points.
BUCKS 119 CAVALIERS 111
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points and 16 rebounds, Damian Lillard scored 24 of his 31 points in the second half and Milwaukee beat Cleveland.
Antetokounmpo and Lillard each scored 14 points in the pivotal third quarter when Milwaukee outscored Cleveland 40-21 to erase a 15-point deficit and take the lead for good. The Bucks have the third-best record in the league at 24-8.
Donovan Mitchell had 34 points, six rebounds and nine assists for Cleveland in his return from a four-game absence. Jarrett Allen scored a career-high 30 points on 15-of-17 shooting and had 12 rebounds and six assists.
SUNS 133 HORNETS 119
Devin Booker scored 35 points and Phoenix, with Bradley Beal back on the court, beat Charlotte to hand the Hornets their 10th consecutive loss.
Beal, who missed the previous five games because of a sprained right ankle, contributed four assists in the first quarter, when the Suns went ahead for good. He finished with seven assists, six points and three rebounds in 30 minutes.
Kevin Durant had 21 points and added 11 assists, and Booker had seven assists. In Phoenix’s 31st game of the season, it was just the second time that the Suns’ “Big 3” of Booker, Durant and Beal played a full game. They played together in a Dec. 13 home loss to Brooklyn. Beal was injured in the Suns’ next game against New York.
Terry Rozier led Charlotte with 42 points on 14-of-21 shooting, going 8 of 11 from 3-point range.
MAGIC 117 KNICKS 108
Franz Wagner had 32 points and nine rebounds, Paolo Banchero added 29 points and 10 rebounds and Orlando held off New York.
Jalen Suggs had 21 points and six assists before a franchise-record home crowd of 19,587. Wagner also had four nine steals.
Julius Randle had 38 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in New York’s third loss in four games. Jalen Brunson added 20 points and eight assists, but shot 4 for 15 and missed all four of his 3-points shots.
Both teams struggled from 3-point range, with New York shooting 6 for 30 and Orlando 7 for 33.
KINGS 117 HAWKS 110
De’Aaron Fox scored 26 of his 31 points in the second half and Sacramento overcame a 23-point, first-quarter deficit to beat Atlanta.
Domantas Sabonis had 25 points and 10 rebounds to help the Kings snap a two-game skid.
Trae Young led the Hawks with 24 points and matched a career high with five steals. Atlanta has lost four straight and 10 of 13.
WIZARDS 110 NETS 104
Deni Avdija had 21 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists, Kyle Kuzma scored 26 points and Washington beat Brooklyn.
Tyus Jones added 12 points for the Wizards, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Outside of recent back-to-back victories over the Detroit Pistons, who have currently matched the worst losing streak in NBA history, Brooklyn has lost seven in a row.
Mikal Bridges scored 19 points for Brooklyn.
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