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Joel Embiid returns, scores 33 to carry Sixers over Suns

Nov 7, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) drives against Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) in the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid returned from a three-game absence with the flu to score 33 points and the host Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Phoenix Suns 100-88 on Monday.

Embiid hit all 16 of his free throws and added 10 rebounds.

Georges Niang tied his career high with seven 3-pointers and scored 21 points while Tobias Harris also added 21 for the Sixers, who snapped a two-game skid. Tyrese Maxey chipped in with 11 on 4-of-18 shooting.

The Sixers played without James Harden, who’s sidelined with a strained tendon in his foot.

Devin Booker led the Suns with 28 points. Mikal Bridges scored 15, DeAndre Ayton and Cam Payne added 14 each and Damion Lee had 10.

Chris Paul went to the locker room midway through the second quarter and didn’t return with right heel soreness. Paul had two points, two assists and two rebounds.

Cam Johnson (right knee) sat out for the Suns.

The Sixers, buoyed by the return of Embiid, led 56-47 at halftime. Embiid led the way with 18 points and hit all 10 of his free throws.

Booker paced the Suns with 14 on 4-of-11 shooting.

When Booker dropped in a 3-pointer with 4:41 left in the third, the Suns eventually cut what was a 16-point deficit down to 68-58. After two empty Sixers possessions, Booker hit 3-of-4 free throws and the Suns trailed by seven.

Niang responded with a trey for the Sixers, who went back ahead by 10.

Philadelphia led 75-70 at the end of the third.

Embiid hit a jumper, Niang added another trey and the Sixers pulled ahead 88-78 with 8:50 left in the fourth.

After the Suns scored four straight, Niang knocked down his seventh 3-pointer for a 91-82 advantage.

Lee was called for a flagrant1 foul against Harris with 3:14 to go. After Harris made 1-of-2 free throws, the Sixers led 96-82.

The Sixers cruised from there.

–Field Level Media