Cameroonian Joel Embiid led a rally in the fourth quarter as the Philadelphia 76ers dented the Dallas Mavericks’ playoff hopes with a 116-108 victory on Wednesday.
Embiid, the Sixers’ star, led the scoring with 25 points, nine rebounds and four assists as they outscored the Mavericks 27-17 in the fourth quarter to snap a three-game losing streak.
Star James Harden added 15 points with 12 assists in his return from injury, while Tyrese Maxed finished with 22 points for the Sixers.
Philadelphia remains third in the Eastern Conference and has already clinched its playoff spot with a 50-26 record.
However, the loss complicates the Mavericks’ chances of making their way to the postseason.
Dallas now sits 11th in the Western Conference at 37-40, with just five regular season games remaining.
Slovenian Luka Doncic led Dallas in scoring with 24 points while Kyrie Irving finished with 23.
However, Dallas was left with a weak shooting performance in the fourth quarter, going just 7 of 19 from the field as the Sixers pulled away down the stretch.
Dallas’ stinging loss was exacerbated by the fact that two of its closest rivals for a spot in the tournament play-in were the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder, who won on Wednesday.
– Lakers dominate Bulls –
In Chicago, the Lakers rebounded from Sunday’s home loss to Chicago and got their revenge against the Bulls with a 121-110 score.
Center Anthony Davis produced a dazzling display for the Lakers at both ends of the floor with 38 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
All-Star LeBron James added 25 points while Austin Reaves added 19 and D’Angelo Russell chipped in 17.
The Lakers are eighth in the Western Conference with a 38-38 mark.
On the other hand, Oklahoma City, which sits in 10th place in the West, the last of the play-in spots, after a last-gasp 107-106 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Jalen Williams was the hero for Oklahoma City with a last-second layup to clinch a crucial victory for the Thunder.
Williams finished with 27 points to lead Oklahoma City in scoring, with Luguentz Dort adding 20.
Elsewhere, Jrue Holiday broke out with 51 points as the Milwaukee Bucks crushed the Indiana Pacers 149-136 on the road.
Holiday’s masterpiece came from 20-for-30 shooting as Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo added 38 points and Cuban-American Brook Lopez 21 as Milwaukee moved closer to clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks now lead the table at 55-21, three games clear of the second-place Boston Celtics with six games remaining in the regular season.
In New York, the Knicks posted a 101-92 victory over the Miami Heat to stay close to clinching a playoff spot.
But the victory was overshadowed by an injury to Knicks star Julius Randle, who limped off the court in the second quarter after spraining his left ankle.
Meanwhile, in Memphis, Russell Westbrook delivered a classic performance with 36 points and 10 assists as the LA Clippers outscored the Grizzlies 141-132.
Robert Covington also shined for the Clippers, with 27 points coming off the bench, while Ja Morant led the Grizzlies with 36 points.
– Results of Wednesday in the NBA:
Milwaukee to Indiana 149-136
NY Knicks to Miami 101-92
LA Lakers to Chicago 121-110
Oklahoma City to Detroit 107-106
Phoneix to Minnesota 97-91
Brooklyn to Houston 123-114
Philadelphia to Dallas 116-108
Utah to San Antonio 128-117
LA Clippers at Memphis 141-132
Sacramento to Portland 120-80
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.
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