Embiid dominant as Sixers cruise to seventh straight win

embiid dominant as sixers cruise to seventh straight win

Joel Embiid AFP PHOTO

LOS ANGELES: Joel Embiid maintained his dominant scoring streak as the Philadelphia 76ers extended their winning streak to seven games with a 121-82 thrashing of the Charlotte Hornets on Friday (Saturday in Manila).

Embiid, one of the front-runners for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award, rattled in another 38 points during a one-sided road victory.

The Sixers star is averaging 35 points a game in March and has not scored fewer than 31 in eight games this month.

Embiid’s latest tally came on 16-of-21 shooting, with 13 rebounds and five assists.

“Home or road, it doesn’t matter,” Embiid said afterward. “We know what it takes offensively and defensively, everybody doing their job… tonight we did it as a team.”

James Harden had a rare off-night with only 11 points after shooting 4-of-15 from the field, but the Sixers still had far too much firepower and defensive savvy for a Charlotte team that is second from the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Tobias Harris added 18 points while Tyrese Maxey chipped in with 13.

Despite the one-sided nature of the win, Sixers coach Doc Rivers was pleased that his team emerged with a clean bill of health.

“It’s just good to get the game over with and be healthy,” said Rivers, who also took satisfaction from the Sixers’ ruthless performance.

“It just shows that we are focused, and we are showing up and playing,” he said.

“There is no guarantee each night how you’re going to play, but there is a guarantee how you can show up — and we’re showing up every night.”

Philadelphia improved to 47-22 with the win and are third in the East, behind leaders Milwaukee (50-20) and Boston (49-22).

– Boston revival –

Boston’s revival continued with a 126-112 win on the road over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 34 points, while Jaylen Brown added 27.

Damian Lillard poured in 41 points in Portland’s losing effort.

In other games Friday, Maxi Kleber nailed a 27-foot buzzer-beater as the Dallas Mavericks put a dent in the Los Angeles Lakers’ postseason charge to snatch a sensational 111-110 road victory.

Kyrie Irving scored 38 points — and provided the late assist for Kleber — to set up a thrilling win for Dallas.

Irving’s tally included 13 in the fourth quarter as Dallas overturned a late five-point deficit to claim the win.

The defeat dropped the Lakers to 10th in the Western Conference with a 34-37 record. Dallas meanwhile moved up to the sixth spot.

Elsewhere Friday, Golden State’s poor road form continued with a 127-119 defeat at Atlanta, with Trae Young leading the Hawks’ scoring with 25 points.

With the Warriors missing the defensive presence of the suspended Draymond Green, the reigning NBA champions dropped their 10th straight game on the road.

The Warriors are now 36-35 overall and sixth in a congested Western Conference table.

“Proud of our guys effort, we had our chances and had several shots in the last couple of minutes but just couldn’t get anything to go,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the loss.

“These guys are fighting. I believe in them and I believe something good’s going to happen with this group. We’ve just got to keep fighting and keep moving forward,” added Kerr, brushing off suggestions that the Warriors’ problems away from home were psychological.

“It’s not mental,” Kerr said. “We’ve been playing well… but it’s hard to win on the road in this league. And we’re just not getting it done.”

Steph Curry led the Warriors scorers with 31 points, and six Golden State players finished in double figures.

In Chicago, DeMar DeRozan erupted for 49 points as the Bulls completed a 139-131 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves’ defeat was compounded by a worrying injury to star Anthony Edwards, who yelled in pain after an awkward landing on his right foot in the first quarter.

Edwards left the game and did not return before appearing on the bench late on wearing a protective boot.

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