NBA roundup: James Harden leads 76ers’ rout in debut

Feb 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) celebrates a play by his team against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) celebrates a play by his team against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid finished with 34 points and 10 rebounds, and James Harden added 27 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds in his debut to lift the Philadelphia 76ers past the host Minnesota Timberwolves 133-102 on Friday.

It was Harden’s first game with the Sixers since being acquired with Paul Millsap from the Brooklyn Nets for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round draft picks. Harden was sidelined with a strained hamstring for his first four games with the Sixers.

Tyrese Maxey contributed 28 points and four steals, and Matisse Thybulle chipped in with 11 points for the Sixers.

Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 25 points, D’Angelo Russell added 21 and Anthony Edwards had 15. Jaden McDaniels also scored 10 points.

Pelicans 117, Suns 102

CJ McCollum scored 32 points and Brandon Ingram added 28 as visiting New Orleans ended Phoenix’s eight-game winning streak.

Jonas Valanciunas added 18 points and 17 rebounds and the Pelicans took control by outscoring Phoenix 42-31 in the third quarter. New Orleans finished with a 53-37 rebounding advantage.

Devin Booker scored 30 points, Deandre Ayton had 20 and Cam Johnson added 15 to lead the Suns, who lost for just the second time in 21 games. It was Western Conference-leading Phoenix’s second game since losing Chris Paul to a fractured thumb.

Heat 115, Knicks 100

Tyler Herro scored a team-high 25 points off the bench for visiting Miami, which overcame a 46-point effort by RJ Barrett to beat New York.

Bam Adebayo finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots, Jimmy Butler scored 23 points and Kyle Lowry added 19 points and nine rebounds for the Heat, who won for the seventh time in eight games and moved back into a tie with the Chicago Bulls atop the Eastern Conference at 39-21.

Barrett, who missed the final four games before the All-Star break due to a sprained left ankle, showed no signs of rust in his first action since Feb. 8. The 21-year-old scored 30 points in the first half — just six shy of his career high entering the night — and ended up with the most points by a Knicks player since Carmelo Anthony scored 46 points against the Utah Jazz on Nov. 14, 2014.

Jazz 114, Mavericks 109

Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points — with seven 3-pointers — and Utah’s defense stiffened in the second half en route to a win over Dallas in Salt Lake City.

Rudy Gobert contributed 14 points, 17 rebounds, three blocks and two big buckets late in the fourth quarter. Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points as the Jazz won in the teams’ first game back from the All-Star break.

Luka Doncic scored 23 points on 8-of-24 shooting and dished out 11 assists with seven rebounds for the Mavericks. Dwight Powell totaled 22 points and seven boards, and Spencer Dinwiddie fired in 20 points for Dallas, which had won two in a row prior to the All-Star break.

Spurs 157, Wizards 153 (2 OT)

Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl had career-high scoring games, Dejounte Murray produced his 12th triple-double and San Antonio needed all of it to beat host Washington in double overtime.

Johnson led the Spurs with 32 points, Poeltl added 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and Murray — fresh off his first All-Star Game appearance — racked up 31 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds.

Kyle Kuzma tied his season high with 36 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 24 points, Raul Neto scored 22 and Daniel Gafford hit for 17 points for Washington, which has dropped two of its past three games.

Hornets 125, Raptors 93

Terry Rozier had 23 points, nine assists and four rebounds and Charlotte led all the way to rout visiting Toronto.

Kelly Oubre Jr. also scored 23 points for the Hornets, who had lost their three previous games and nine of the past 10.

Montrezl Harrell contributed 20 points and 10 rebounds for Charlotte, LaMelo Ball and P.J. Washington each scored 13 points, and Miles Bridges had 11 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Thunder 129, Pacers 125 (OT)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander posted 36 points, eight rebounds and five assists to lead Oklahoma City past host Indiana.

The Thunder won for just the second time in nine games, while the Pacers have dropped eight of their last nine.

After Indiana shot 53.9 percent in regulation, it cooled off in overtime, making just 1 of 11 from the floor as the Thunder pulled off a split of the season series. Both games between the teams went to overtime.

Magic 119, Rockets 111

Chuma Okeke scored 10 of his career-high 26 points in the fourth quarter, Wendell Carter Jr. finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds and host Orlando ended a four-game losing streak at the expense of Houston.

Orlando fell behind by 14 points during the opening quarter before rallying to earn its sixth victory in 27 home games. The Magic also overcame a double-digit deficit to win for the seventh time this season. Okeke made 9 of 13 shots, including five 3-pointers, grabbed nine rebounds and had three steals.

Cole Anthony added 14 points, six assists and five rebounds and Franz Wagner totaled 13 points and eight rebounds for the Magic. The Rockets’ Jalen Green scored 10 of his team-high 23 points in the fourth quarter, but Houston dropped its eighth consecutive game. Christian Wood overcame early foul trouble to post 21 points and 11 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

Leave a Comment