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Sixers dismantle Pistons in Joel Embiid’s return

Jan 10, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) dribbles up court in front of Detroit Pistons forward Kevin Knox II (20) during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid returned from a three-game absence due to left foot soreness to produce 36 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots for the host Philadelphia 76ers in their resounding 147-116 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday.

James Harden added 16 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds for his 72nd career triple-double as the Sixers registered a season high in points scored.

Tyrese Maxey contributed 16 points, Tobias Harris added 14, Shake Milton had 11 and deep reserve Jaden Springer chipped in with a career-high 10.

Saddiq Bey, Jaden Ivey and Rodney McGruder each scored 17 points for the Pistons. Alec Burks scored 16 and Hamidou Diallo had 14.

The depleted Pistons competed without a number of key injured players, including Bojan Bogdanovic (calf), Jalen Duren (ankle), Isaiah Stewart (shoulder) and Marvin Bagley III (hand). Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft, has already been lost for the season.

Embiid drove to the basket and threw down a dunk with 4:24 left in the second quarter for a 50-32 lead.

When Harden dropped in a 3-pointer with 2:32 remaining, the Sixers led 56-36.

Cory Joseph responded with a trey on Detroit’s next possession.

The Sixers held a 65-43 advantage at halftime thanks in large part to 22 points from Embiid.

No Detroit player reached double figures by the half, and the team shot 15 of 47 (31.9 percent) from the field.

Maxey converted back-to-back three-point plays early in the third quarter and the Sixers moved out to an 82-55 lead.

The advantage ballooned to 30, 86-56, when Embiid scored with 6:23 left in the frame. The Sixers kept attacking and went ahead by 41.

Philadelphia led 107-75 at the end of the third.

The Sixers rested their starters but maintained a huge lead. Furkan Korkmaz hit a trey with 6:23 remaining for a 130-101 advantage.

Philadelphia cruised to the lopsided win from that point.

–Field Level Media