Philadelphia (AP) Joel Embiid had 42 points and 11 rebounds, James Harden had 27 as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans team, losing to Zion Williamson 120-111 with a tight right hamstring.
Williamson scored 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting in the third quarter before heading to the locker room in the fourth quarter. Williamson got to his feet on a fast break and handed the ball late in the third inning. Williamson, who is averaging 26 points per game, cautiously ran to the corner, stayed on the court for a while, and was pulled out of the game. Williamson’s career has been defined by injuries and dominance, but not least last week against Minnesota when he scored a career-high 42 points.
It was not immediately clear if Williamson would be sidelined at any time.
Without Williamson, the Pelicans couldn’t keep up with the 76ers.
Embiid pushed his lead with driving, crash layups and spinning like a top on the rear end to dramatic effect. He sank the free throws for a 106-96 lead. He cautiously walked to the bench at that moment, but stayed in the game.
De’Anthony Melton filled in a 3 for the 76ers to take a 113-107 lead, and Harden quickly came back to hit another 3 to extend his 10th straight win at home.
For NBA fans, it’s a shame the teams aren’t on each other again this season. We won at home. This was his second banger in his 4 night stay, but only this time in Philadelphia.
McCollum scored 26 points.
Williamson, Harden and Embiid all put on the show through the first three quarters. Even 76ers reserve Georges Niang hit five 3s from the bench, sending the home crowd into a frenzy as the public address announcer yelled, “Bang, bang, Niang!”
Embiid played with a back injury, but shot 15-of-24 for his second consecutive title and made all 10 free throws. Harden was crafty when he scored 10 points on and 1 in the second quarter. He made a 4-point play and he made two of his 3-point plays in that run.
Pelicans: Coach Willie Green spent the first seven seasons of his playing career with the Sixers. The Sixers weren’t that good during Green’s tenure, but he was deeply grateful for playing with Hall of Famer Allen Iverson.
“There’s only one AI. He got along well with people,” said Green. “He had a big heart.
76ers: Regular starter G Tyrese Maxey was met with a rapturous ovation when he checked in late in the first quarter. Maxxie scored 12 points as the Sixers eased the lineup after missing six weeks with a broken leg.
Pelicans: Host Houston on Wednesday
76ers: Three homestands, including Wednesday’s game against Indiana and Friday’s game against Chicago.
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