NBA: Harden’s triple-double helps 76ers cruise, Durant hurt in Nets win
LOS ANGELES – James Harden‘s 20-point triple-double helped carry the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers to a convincing 123-111 NBA victory over the Pistons in Detroit on Sunday.
Harden added 11 rebounds and 11 assists in his second triple-double of the season and had plenty off support despite the continued absence of star center Joel Embiid and P.J. Tucker.
Embiid missed his third straight game with a sore left foot while Tucker was out with a sinus infection.
“He was terrific,” Sixers coach Doc Rivers said of Harden but noted it was a “good team performance.”
Montrezl Harrell scored a season-high 20 points, his third straight game scoring in double figures, and combined seamlessly with Harden to keep the Sixers offense clicking.
“We keep talking about pace,” Rivers said. “We played really quick, really fast throughout the game, kept the floor spaced,kept going downhill kept making plays, advanced the ball.
“The only way you can do that is with stops. Obviously in the first half we got those.”
Tyrese Maxey scored 23 points, and the 76ers reserves scored 48 points as Philadelphia pushed their lead to 23 points midway through the fourth quarter.
French guard Killian Hayes led the Pistons with 26 points in the defeat, equalling his career high.
Harden reached a career milestone during the game, becoming the 27th NBA player to score 24,000 career points.
Harden’s former Brooklyn Nets teammate, Kevin Durant, went out with a right knee injury in the third quarter of Brooklyn’s 102-101 victory at Miami.
Australian standout Ben Simmons blocked a shot but fell back into teammate Durant’s knee, causing the concern that sent Durant to the locker room.
Durant has averaged 30.0 points and 6.8 rebounds a game for the Nets, who improved to 27-13, one game behind NBA pace-setter Boston in the Eastern Conference.
Royce O’Neale’s jumper with three seconds remaining created the final margin while Jimmy Butler missed a layup at the buzzer for Miami.
Kyrie Irving led the Nets with 29 points while Durant finished with 17 in 30 minutes on the court. Butler led Miami with 26 points while Tyler Herro added 24.
At Memphis, Desmond Bane scored 24 points and Tyus Jones added 21 to lead the Grizzlies over visiting Utah 123-118.
Memphis improved to 25-13, a half-game behind Western Conference leader Denver.
In Toronto, Pascal Siakam scored 27 points and Scottie Barnes contributed 22 as the Raptors handed the Portland Trail Blazers a seventh straight road defeat, 117-105.
Damian Lillard scored 14 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter, but the late surge wasn’t enough for Portland to turnaround their road fortunes against a Toronto team that snapped a three-game skid.
Myles Turner had 29 points and nine rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers over visiting Charlotte 116-111.