LOS ANGELES: Tobias Harris drove in the final dagger as the Philadelphia 76ers thwarted a late Los Angeles Lakers rally to hand the reigning NBA champions their first road defeat of the season – 107-106. In a bruising heavyweight clash, the Eastern Conference leading Sixers made a statement against the league-leading Lakers. “Some people think we haven’t played anybody,” Harris said. “For us, we wanted to go against the champs. We wanted to see where we’re at.”
Joel Embiid scored 28 points, Ben Simmons notched a triple-double of 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and Harris, fed by Seth Curry, sealed the victory with a pull-up jump shot with three seconds remaining. The Lakers, who had won a franchise-best 10 road games to start the season, nearly kept the streak alive despite trailing by 14 points in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers, down by 12 with 3:07 remaining, produced a 13-0 scoring run launched by Alex Caruso’s finger-roll layup. After three-pointers from Caruso, Dennis Schroder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Anthony Davis gave the Lakers a 106-105 lead on a layup set up by LeBron James. After a timeout, Philadelphia inbounded the ball with 11.2 seconds remaining. They got the ball to Harris, who drove left and fired.
Davis’ desperation heave from halfcourt as time expired was never close. James, coming off a 46-point performance at Cleveland on Monday, led the Lakers with 34 points, Davis added 23 and Schroder had 16. Cameroonian center Embiid got an injury scare in the third quarter, when he came down hard on the small of his back after he was pushed by James as he rose for a dunk.
James was assessed a flagrant foul and Embiid, who missed the 76ers’ previous game with back tightness, gingerly tested himself after he rose but stayed in the game. “That’s a very dangerous play,” Embiid said. “I guarantee if that was me I would have probably been ejected from the game.”
89 points for Nets ‘Big 3’
The Brooklyn Nets, with a big night from their big three, escaped with a 132-128 overtime victory over the Hawks in Atlanta. Kevin Durant scored 32 points, James Harden added a double-double of 31 points and 15 assists with eight rebounds and Kyrie Irving added 26 points for Brooklyn, who won their third straight.
Trae Young led the Hawks with 28 points and 14 assists. Cam Reddish scored 24 points off the bench for Atlanta, including a driving layup that tied the score at 118-118 with less than 30 seconds left in regulation. Brooklyn jumped to a 127-121 lead midway through overtime, buoyed by Jeff Green’s three-pointer and a dunk from Durant. A Durant three-pointer made it 129-123 with 1:25 remaining and the Nets held on to win a close game that featured 21 lead changes, with neither team leading by more than seven.
Giannis Antetokounmpo pressed their pursuit of the 76ers lead in the East with a 115-108 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Two-time reigning NBA MVP Antetokounmpo fueled the Bucks with 24 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists. Norman Powell scored 26 points and Kyle Lowry added 21 for the Raptors.
Indiana forward Damontas Sabonis delivered a triple-double of 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as the Pacers beat the Hornets in Charlotte 116-106. Sabonis was doubtful to start the game with a bruised left knee, but he showed no sign of trouble as he connected on nine of 10 shots from the floor, including two of three from three-point range. Doug McDermott led the Pacers with 28 points off the bench. Malcom Brogdon added 25 points and Justin Holiday had 19 for Indiana.
Elsewhere, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson scored 32 points each as the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 47-point performance by Bradley Beal to defeat the Washington Wizards 124-106. Ingram and Williamson scored 30 points in a game for the first time as Ingram tied a career-high by making seven three-pointers.
Eric Bledsoe scored 18 for the Pelicans, who started a five-game homestand with just their second win in 10 games. Also, Rudy Gobert finished with 29 points and 20 rebounds, and Jordan Clarkson scored 31 points as the Utah Jazz rolled over the Dallas Mavericks 116-104 for their 10th consecutive win. – AFP