Los Angeles—Joel Embiid scored 24 points in his return from a 10-game injury absence to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 122-113 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.
Embiid added eight rebounds and three blocks in his first game since suffering a bruised left knee during the 76ers 127-101 win over the Washington Wizards last month.
“It felt great,” said Embiid who played with his knee heavily bandaged. “Just trying to get my rhythm back. I’m going to blame the brace I was wearing. I just felt like I didn’t have my rhythm all game. It felt like I wasn’t smooth. I hate the brace.”
Tobias Harris scored a team high 32 points, Shake Milton and Ben Simmons each had 14 points and Seth Curry added 13 for the 76ers, who have won 12 of their last 15 contests.
The 76ers beat the Timberwolves for the eighth consecutive time, shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc and 50 percent from the field.
Still head coach Doc Rivers wasn’t happy.
“We won the game, but I wasn’t thrilled how we played,” Rivers said. “It was one of those sloppy, ugly games. We had so many chances to put the game away, but we refused to do that tonight.”
Karl-Anthony Towns tallied 39 points and 14 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have lost seven of their last nine games. Towns could have added to his totals but he fouled out of the game. Anthony Edwards chipped in 27 points.
Doncic’s Mavericks beat Wizards
Elsewhere, the Dallas Mavericks used another solid defensive performance to hold their opponent to under 100 points for the second game in a row as they capped a five-game road trip with a 109-87 win over the Washington Wizards.
Luka Doncic finished with 26 points, Jalen Brunson came off the bench to score 19 as the Mavs posted their fourth straight win.
All five Maverick starters scored in double-figures, including Boban Marjanovic who tallied 15 points, 12 rebounds. Marjanovic was starting in place of Kristaps Porzingis, who was given the night off because Dallas was playing two straight days.
Tim Hardaway scored 16 points, making consecutive threes in the fourth quarter that gave the Mavericks a dominating 19 point lead which ended the Wizards comeback hopes.
Dallas held two Wizard starters Alex Len and Garrison Mathews scoreless and they snapped Russell Westbrook’s consecutive triple double streak at four games.
Westbrook finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds as Washington also shot just five of 25 from beyond the arc.
With NBA-leading scorer Bradley Beal sidelined for a fourth straight game due to a hip contusion and Rui Hachimura out with a shoulder injury, the Wizards were without two of their top three scorers.
Also, Donovan Mitchell scored 22 points, including six threes, as the Utah Jazz beat the Orlando Magic 137-91 in Salt Lake City.
Joe Ingles and Bojan Bogdanovic each scored 17 points, while Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to score 15 as the Jazz won their ninth straight and 22nd in a row at home.
Utah set an NBA record with 18 three-pointers in the first half, surpassing the 2018 Golden State Warriors.