Embiid’s 59 points lead Sixers past Jazz, Garland’s 51 not enough for Cavs

Embiid's 59 points lead Sixers past Jazz, Garland's 51 isn't enough for Cavs

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) reacts after scoring against the Utah Jazz during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center in Pennsylvania November 13, 2022. – Reuters pic

Monday, November 14, 2022 12:56 PM MYT

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14 (Reuters) – Joel Embiid scored 59 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 105-98 win over Utah on Sunday, just one of two 50-point performances that lit up NBA night.

Cleveland guard Darius Garland scored 27 of his 51 points in the fourth quarter, but his exploits weren’t enough to keep the Cavaliers from giving up their first loss on their home ground, 129-124, to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Embiid’s epic, bettering his previous career best of 50 points, proved to be all the ’76ers needed to stem the stubborn Jazz.

The Cameroonian big man added 11 rebounds and eight assists and seven blocked shots, all just a day after scoring 42 points in a win over the Atlanta Hawks.

“I’ve never seen a more dominating performance when you combine defense and offense,” said 76ers coach Doc Rivers after Embiid became the first player in league history to have 50 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five blocks in a game since blocks became an official statistic in the 1973-74 season.

With the Jazz pressing late, Embiid scored 26 of Philadelphia’s 27 points in the fourth quarter.

“MVP” chants rained down at Sixers’ Wells Fargo Center as Embiid poured it.

The teams tied heading into the final quarter, and Embiid’s turnaround jump shot with less than six minutes to go put the score at 94-94.

On Philadelphia’s next possession, he took two free throws and gave the Sixers a 98-96 lead. His fadeaway jump shot with a minute remaining put Philadelphia 103-98 and he finished the goal with two free throws.

In Cleveland, Garland barely beat Embiid with the season’s first 50-point performance as he became the fourth Cavaliers player to reach the half-century mark alongside LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Walt Wesley.

Garland’s 10 threes – six in the fourth quarter – were just the beginning as Garland dazzled to the basket with a series of agile jump shots and bullish drives.

“Special,” Cavs veteran Kevin Love said of Garland’s performance. “A master class from Darius that was just beautiful.”

Cavs star Donovan Mitchell cheered off the bench as he sat with a sore ankle but Garland’s career night wasn’t enough.

D’Angelo Russell had a season-high 30 points on 11-of-13 shooting and shared 12 assists, while Karl-Anthony Towns had 29 points for the Timberwolves, who led by 24 late in the third quarter.

Thunder Quiet Knicks

Elsewhere, the Oklahoma City Thunder rolled into New York and beat the Knicks 145-135 to the roaring horror of the crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 37 points and Josh Giddey had a triple-double of 24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists to lead the young Thunder roster.

20-year-old Australian Giddey was the only player alongside Wilt Chamberlain to record triple-doubles in his first two games at Manhattan’s legendary arena.

“We come here once a year so you have to have fun while we’re here and luckily we’ve had two wins in my time so it’s been going well so far,” Giddey said in a post-game interview.

Lu Dort also scored 24 points for Oklahoma City, which hit 62.5% of their shots from the field. That included making 17 of 31 from three-point range.

The Knicks outplayed the Thunder 48-36 in the first quarter and set a franchise record for points in the first period.

But Oklahoma City buckled back on second defense, keeping the Knicks at 25 and scoring 43 to take a six-lead at the break.

They were never behind in the second half and led by as much as 19 points.

In Washington, Kristaps Porzingis scored 25 points and Deni Avdija 21 to lead the Wizards to a 102-92 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Washington clinched a fourth straight win despite Bradley Beal’s continued absence. The Grizzlies were shorthanded as well, with Ja Morant out with a sore left ankle and Desmond Bane with a troubled toe. — AFP

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