Joel Embiid had 53 points and 12 rebounds to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers past the depleted Charlotte Hornets 131-113 on Sunday.
It was the 30th time Embiid has posted at least 40 points and 10 rebounds in his career. It was also Embiid’s second game this season with at least 50 points following a 59-point outburst against the Utah Jazz.
James Harden contributed 19 points, 16 assists and nine rebounds and Tobias Harris added 17 points for the Sixers, who won their second straight. De’Anthony Melton chipped in with 12 and Shake Milton had 11.
Tyrese Maxey sat out for an 11th consecutive game with a fractured left foot.
🔥 53 PTS (62.5% FG), 12 REB 🔥
— NBA (@NBA) December 12, 2022
Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre Jr. led the Hornets with 29 points apiece. Jalen McDaniels had 15 and Mason Plumlee swiped 12 rebounds for Charlotte, which has dropped five in a row.
The Hornets played without a number of key players including LaMelo Ball (ankle), Gordon Hayward (shoulder), Dennis Smith Jr. (ankle), Cody Martin (knee) and Mark Williams (ankle).
The Sixers took advantage of a 15-0 run to take a 42-33 lead with 5:51 left in the second quarter. Charlotte went more than five minutes without a basket during the spurt.
Embiid drove to the basket and scored for a 50-42 lead with 2:38 remaining. Oubre Jr. responded with consecutive baskets and the Hornets sliced the deficit in half.
The Sixers led 61-54 at halftime thanks in large part to 28 points from Embiid.
Melton dropped in a 3-pointer from the corner and the Sixers went ahead 78-62 with 8:10 to go in the third. After Oubre Jr. missed two free throws, Melton hit another trey and the lead was 19.
The Hornets soon proceeded on a 16-4 run and closed within 87-78 with 4:11 left, and Philadelphia held a 96-87 advantage at the end of the third.
The Sixers pulled ahead 106-94 when Milton hit a 3-pointer from the wing with 8:36 remaining in the fourth.
Rozier dropped in a trey with 6:09 left to close within 110-102.
However, Embiid hit a 15-foot jumper on the Sixers’ next possession. Then, Embiid’s short jumper in the lane with 4:04 left propelled the Sixers to a 118-105 advantage.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.