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Joel Embiid, James Harden propel 76ers past Blazers

Jan 19, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA;  Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) shoots the ball over Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant (9) in the first half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid dominated a matchup with Jusuf Nurkic, the Philadelphia defense harassed Damian Lillard into 6-for-21 shooting and the visiting 76ers staved off a late Portland Trail Blazers rally for a 105-95 victory on Thursday.

Embiid led all scorers with 32 points, and James Harden aided the Philadelphia cause with 16 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, his fourth triple-double of the season. The 76ers won for the fourth straight time on an eight-day, five-game trip that ends Saturday in Sacramento.

Bouncing back from a brutal first half, Lillard had a team-high 25 points for the Trail Blazers, who lost their second in a row.

Embiid scored six points in a game-opening, 11-2 burst that put the 76ers in command for good.

Philadelphia went on to lead 57-34 at halftime, with Nurkic recording three fouls and no points in eight minutes and Lillard struggling through a 1-for-10 start.

An uphill climb got Portland within 101-93 after a 30-foot 3-pointer by Lillard with 1:35 to go, but Harden slammed the door with a floater in the lane off an Embiid assist.

The 30-point night was Embiid’s 25th of the season. The Sixers big man hit 12 of his 22 shots and all seven of his free throws while also finding time for nine rebounds and game-high three blocks.

Tyrese Maxey added 15 points, Tobias Harris 11 and Shake Milton 10 for the 76ers, who outshot the hosts 50.6 percent to 37.6 percent.

Lillard used 10-for-10 success at the line to account for much of his scoring on a night when he misfired on 10 of his 13 3-point attempts. He completed a double-double with a team-high 11 assists.

Jerami Grant chipped in with 24 points for the Trail Blazers, while Nurkic managed a game-high 11 rebounds but just four points on 2-for-10 shooting in 24 foul-plagued minutes.

Anfernee Simons (16 points) and Nassir Little (10) also scored in double figures for Portland.

–Field Level Media