MINNEAPOLIS — James Harden had 27 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds in his 76ers debut, Joel Embiid added 34 points and 10 rebounds and Philadelphia routed the Minnesota Timberwolves 133-102 on Friday night.
Philadelphia finally got to see how its star twosome worked together after Harden missed his first two games following the trade from Brooklyn with a hamstring injury. The results were promising, particularly where Embiid and Harden thrive – at the free-throw line.
Embiid, who had 21 free throws in a double-overtime loss to Minnesota in November, was 11 of 13 from the line. Harden was 8 of 9 as the 76ers went 30 of 36 overall.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 25 points, and D’Angelo Russell had 21. But the Timberwolves couldn’t replicate the dramatic win in Philadelphia earlier this season.
The 76ers didn’t have Harden — or Ben Simmons, who was traded to Brooklyn along with Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round draft picks for Harden — in November. Harden, the 2018 MVP, hadn’t played since Feb. 2 due to the injury, delaying his pairing with Embiid.
CLIPPERS 105, LAKERS 102
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Terance Mann had 19 points and 10 rebounds, Amir Coffey added 12 of his 14 in the fourth quarter and the Clippers returned from the All-Star break to beat the Lakers.
Luke Kennard scored 18 points for the Clippers. They earned their sixth consecutive victory over the Lakers in the latest meeting between Los Angeles’ two underachieving, injury-plagued NBA franchises as they begin the next push to salvage their seasons.
Carmelo Anthony missed a long go-ahead jumper with four seconds to play and LeBron James missed a tying 3-point attempt at the buzzer for the Lakers. They fell five games under .500 with their fourth loss in five games.
James had 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Anthony and Russell Westbrook scored 18 points apiece.
HEAT 115, KNICKS 100
NEW YORK (AP) — Tyler Herro scored 25 points, Jimmy Butler had 23 and Miami overcame 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 were tied with Chicago for the best record in the Eastern Conference going into it. Bam Adebayo finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds.
Miami started a little slowly in the resumption of its schedule, then shut down most of the Knicks beyond Barrett to run its road winning streak to a season-high six games.
Barrett made six 3-pointers and grabbed nine rebounds in his return from a four-game absence with a sprained left ankle, and his best game as a pro would have been even better if not for 14-for-22 shooting 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 highest-scoring game in the NBA this season.
Keldon Johnson scored a career-high 32 points, and Jakob Poeltl added a career-high 28 points for the Spurs. They have won five of seven to get coach Gregg Popovich within one victory of Lenny Wilkens’ NBA record of 1,335.
Kyle Kuzma matched his season high with 36 points for the Wizards. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 24 points, and Raul Neto had season highs of 22 points and nine assists. The Wizards fell to 3-3 since losing star Bradley Beal to season-ending left wrist surgery.
Both teams set season highs in scoring. Murray missed potential winning shots in both regulation and the first overtime, but he hit two free throws with 13.6 seconds left in the second OT to seal it.
SPURS 117, SUNS 102
PHOENIX (AP) — CJ McCollum continued his scorching start with New Orleans, scoring 32 points to help the Pelicans beat NBA-leading Phoenix.
McCollum is averaging about 30 points over six games since joining the Pelicans in a trade 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 straight and 19 of 20.
The Suns were playing their second game without Paul, who fractured his thumb against the Rockets on Feb. 16. He could miss the regular season though the team is hopeful he’ll be back in time for the playoffs.
Devin Booker led Phoenix with 30 points.
JAZZ 114, MAVERICKS 109
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 22 points.
THUNDER 129, PACERS 125, OT
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 36 points and made the decisive 3-point play with 20.4 seconds left in overtime to lift Oklahoma City past Indiana.
Tre Mann finished added 22 points to help Oklahoma City snap a two-game losing streak and a five-game skid in the series. The Thunder lost at home to NBA-leading Phoenix the night before.
Buddy Hield led Indiana with 29 points. The Pacers lost for the eighth time in nine games.
HORNETS 125, RAPTORS 93
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre Jr. each scored 23 points and Charlotte emerged from the All-Star break looking reenergized against Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
Montrezl Harrell added 20 points for the Hornets. After losing nine of 10 going into the All-Star break, Charlotte never trailed and led by 41 points near the end of the third quarter.
Scottie Barnes had a career-high 28 points for the Raptors.
MAGIC 119, ROCKETS 111
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Chuma Okeke scored 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-worst Magic end a four-game losing streak.
Jalen Green led Houston with 23 points. The Rockets have lost eight straight.