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Joel Embiid powers streaking Sixers past Nuggets

Jan 28, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Aaron Gordon (50) drives against Philadelphia 76ers forward P.J. Tucker (17) in the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid had 47 points and 18 rebounds, including a clutch 3-pointer with 29.2 seconds remaining, to lift the host Philadelphia 76ers past the Denver Nuggets 126-119 on Saturday.

It was Embiid’s ninth game this season with at least 40 points.

James Harden added 17 points and 13 assists with no turnovers for the Sixers, who won their seventh in a row. Georges Niang and Tobias Harris contributed 14 points apiece while Tyrese Maxey and De’Anthony Melton had 13 each.

Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 24 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

The Nuggets closed within 120-117 when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a 3-pointer with 1:27 left.

After P.J. Tucker had a key tip-in for the Sixers, Jokic was then stripped by Tucker on Denver’s next possession.

Jamal Murray had 22, Michael Porter Jr. contributed 20 and Aaron Gordon added 18.

The Nuggets had their lead dwindle to 99-98 early in the fourth quarter before going on a quick 7-0 run.

Harris knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner with 7:27 remaining to tie the game at 106.

Embiid soon hit a jumper and a trey and the Sixers led 115-110 with 4:36 left. Harris followed with a 3-pointer for an eight-point advantage.

The Sixers hit their first six shots of the third and used a 15-4 run to close within 77-73.

Denver responded and went ahead 89-79 with 6:01 left in the third when Porter Jr. converted a three-point play.

Nuggets head coach Michael Malone was whistled for a technical foul with 4:29 remaining.

Tucker then got a technical foul with 3:28 to go after arguing a foul against Jokic. Sixers head coach Doc Rivers also received a technical foul soon after.

The Nuggets regained another 15-point lead. But the Sixers closed within 99-96 at the end of the third after Embiid sank three free throws after being fouled at center court with 0.9 seconds left.

The Nuggets led by as many as 15 in the first half when Gordon dropped in an alley oop layup with 9.1 seconds remaining. They pulled ahead 73-58 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

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