Joel Embiid had 23 points and seven rebounds before leaving with a hyperextended left knee in the third quarter, and the visiting Philadelphia 76ers breezed past the Washington Wizards 127-101 on Friday.
After throwing down a dunk, Embiid landed awkwardly on his left knee and remained on the floor for several minutes. Embiid eventually limped to the locker room under his own power and did not return to the game. He was set to undergo an MRI exam to determine the extent of the injury, 76ers coach Doc Rivers said postgame.
Embiid returned to action after missing the All-Star Game and the 76ers’ Thursday game at Chicago due to COVID-19 protocols. Teammate Ben Simmons missed his second straight game due to coronavirus contact tracing.
Philadelphia’s Shake Milton and Furkan Korkmaz contributed 18 points apiece off the bench while Tobias Harris added 14 points and eight rebounds. Russell Westbrook led the Wizards with 25 points, eight assists and five rebounds while Bradley Beal added 19 points despite being questionable before the game due to left knee soreness.
Denver Nuggets 103 – Memphis Grizzlies 102
Nikola Jokic finished with 28 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists, made a hook shot with 34.7 seconds remaining and defended a Ja Morant layup attempt with three seconds left as Denver won at Memphis.
Will Barton and Michael Porter Jr. scored 21 points each for the Nuggets. The pair of wings picked up the scoring slack because Jamal Murray, who entered averaging 21.8 points per game, scored just three points on 1-of-14 shooting.
Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke topped the Grizzlies with 20 points.
Utah Jazz 114 – Houston Rockets 99
Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points to lead six Utah players in double figures as the Jazz fended off short-handed but stubborn Houston in Salt Lake City.
Mitchell added seven rebounds and eight assists while Mike Conley chipped in 20 points and four assists for the Jazz. Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Clarkson scored 15 points apiece, and Rudy Gobert added 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots for Utah.
Kevin Porter Jr. tallied 27 points and eight assists in just his second game — and first start — for the Rockets, who dropped their 15th consecutive game. Sterling Brown and Kenyon Martin Jr. scored 15 points apiece for Houston.
Los Angeles Lakers 105 – Indiana Pacers 100
Kyle Kuzma propelled host Los Angeles to a come-from-behind victory over Indiana in each team’s first game back from the All-Star break. The Pacers led by 12 points early in the fourth quarter.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s steal with 8.5 seconds left and subsequent pair of free throws sealed the win. Kuzma finished with team highs of 24 points and 13 rebounds, and teammate LeBron James added 18 points and 10 assists.
Malcolm Brogdon led the Pacers, scoring 18 of his game-high 29 points in the opening quarter. Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.
San Antonio Spurs 104 – Orlando Magic 77
Rudy Gay scored 19 points off the bench, 12 of them in the fourth quarter, to lead a balanced attack as host San Antonio rolled to a win over reeling Orlando.
Dejounte Murray and Derrick White added 17 points each for the Spurs while Patty Mills scored 13 and Keldon Johnson hit for 11.
The Magic, who lost their seventh game in a row, played with just nine available players due to injuries and COVID-19 safety protocols. Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 26 points and nine rebounds.
Miami Heat 101 – Chicago Bulls 90
Jimmy Butler had 28 points and eight assists and Goran Dragic scored 20 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter as Miami defeated Chicago to earn its third straight victory.
Dragic drilled two treys as part of a personal 8-0 run early in the fourth to stretch a one-point advantage to nine. Miami prevailed despite playing without Bam Adebayo (knee) and Avery Bradley (calf).
Zach LaVine scored 30 points to go with six rebounds and six assists and Lauri Markkanen chipped in 20 points for the Bulls, who have lost the first two in a five-game homestand and four of five overall.
New Orleans Pelicans 116 – Cleveland Cavaliers 82
Brandon Ingram scored 28 points and Zion Williamson added 23 as host New Orleans, fresh off a 30-point loss to league-worst Minnesota the night before, routed Cleveland.
The Pelicans’ Steven Adams had 10 points and 17 rebounds, Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 15 and Jaxson Hayes had 13 points. New Orleans held an early 16-point lead before being routed by the Timberwolves 135-105 on Thursday.
Collin Sexton scored 19 points to lead Cleveland. Quinn Cook added 13 and Larry Nance Jr., back after missing 12 games due to finger surgery, had 11. The Cavaliers also welcomed back Kevin Love after a 33-game absence due to a calf injury. He scored four points in 10 minutes.
–Field Level Media