Joel Embiid had 33 points and 16 rebounds and the streaking Philadelphia 76ers won their opener in the NBA’s in-season tournament by powering past the slumping Detroit Pistons 114-106 on Friday night.
Embiid shot 8-for-21 from the field and 16-for-19 from the foul line. Tyrese Maxey racked up 29 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and four steals for Philadelphia, which has won seven straight games.
Tobias Harris contributed 24 points and five rebounds and De’Anthony Melton added 10 points.
Killian Hayes led Detroit, which has lost seven straight, with 23 points, six rebounds and six assists. Cade Cunningham supplied 21 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Ausar Thompson had 12 points, 12 rebounds and four assists, while Isaiah Stewart and Stanley Umude added 10 points apiece.
Pistons center Jalen Duren departed early with an ankle injury.
Detroit held a 56-48 halftime advantage. The Pistons led by as much as 16 behind Hayes, who had 14 points and six assists. Cunningham scored 12 but also committed three fouls. Maxey and Embiid kept the Sixers within striking distance by combining for 27 points.
Philadelphia opened the second half with a 12-4 spurt to tie the score. Embiid started it with a mid-range jumper and finished it with a 3-pointer.
Philadelphia took a one-point lead at 72-71 when Embiid made two free throws. The Sixers finished the quarter with an 11-4 run for an 83-77 advantage. Embiid once again completed it, this time with a layup.
Melton opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer and Maxey followed with a layup to make it 88-77. Harris converted a feed from Maxey for a 15-point lead.
Detroit scored the next four points but could not get the deficit under double digits until the final minute. After Cunningham drained a 3-pointer to pull Detroit within 10 at 98-88, Philadelphia scored the next five points, including a three-point play from Maxey.
Harris hit two free throws with 4:05 left, giving the Sixers a 107-90 lead. Embiid’s putback made it 112-95.
–Field Level Media
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