NBA: Joel Embiid drops 44 points to lead 76ers past Cavs
Joel Embiid had 44 points, 17 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the host Cleveland Cavaliers 112-108 on Sunday.
It was the 11th time this season that Embiid produced at least 40 points and 10 rebounds.
James Harden added 21 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds while Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris contributed 11 points each for the Sixers (48-30).
Matisse Thybulle’s steal led to a dunk by Harris with 7.2 seconds remaining to give Philadelphia a 111-106 lead and seal the win.
Darius Garland led the Cavaliers (43-36) with 23 points, Lamar Stevens and Caris LeVert added 18 each, and Lauri Markkanen had 16. Kevin Love scored 12 points and Moses Brown had 12 rebounds.
The short-handed Cavaliers played without Evan Mobley (ankle injury) and Jarrett Allen (finger).
— NBA (@NBA) April 4, 2022
Love hit a 3-pointer with 6:31 left in the second quarter, giving the Cavaliers a 45-34 lead. Harden responded with a trey and 1 of 2 free throws to close the Sixers within seven.
The Cavaliers went ahead 55-47 when LeVert hit a 3-pointer from the wing with 1:32 remaining. Cleveland led 55-49 at halftime thanks largely to 11 points apiece from Love and LeVert.
In the half, Embiid paced the Sixers with 17, and Harden added 10 but shot only 1 of 9 from the field.
Maxey converted a 3-point play with 8:18 to go in the third, and the Sixers used an 11-4 run to tie the game at 63.
Rajon Rondo knocked down a 3-pointer for a late two-point Cavaliers advantage. But Maxey hit a 3-pointer in the waning seconds, and the Sixers pulled ahead 81-80 at the end of the quarter.
Harris and Harden made consecutive shots to open the fourth as the Sixers took a five-point lead.
The Cavaliers received a scare with 9:16 to play when Love exited the game with an apparent sore knee. Love and Harris appeared to bang knees on the possession.
When Markkanen hit a 3-pointer with 7:57 remaining, the Cavaliers tied it at 87. Embiid produced a 3-point play with 3:42 to go, and the Sixers led 101-97.
The Cavaliers continued to be aggressive and closed to 103-102 on Markkanen’s trey with 2:11 left, but it wasn’t enough.