NBA: Embiid scores 30 in return, powers Sixers past Pistons

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Mar 12 2020 10:33 AM

NBA: Embiid scores 30 in return, powers Sixers past Pistons 1
Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood (35) and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) get tangled up during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Eric Hartline, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Joel Embiid scored 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lift the host the Philadelphia 76ers past the Detroit Pistons 124-106 on Wednesday.

The game concluded shortly before the NBA announced it is suspending the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Embiid returned after a five-game absence caused by a sprained shoulder to propel the Sixers to their league-best 29th win in 31 home games, including 15 in a row. Embiid hadn't played since Feb. 26 at Cleveland, but he managed to register his 11th game this season with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.

Al Horford added 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, Furkan Korkmaz contributed 17 points off the bench, and Tobias Harris scored 15.

The Sixers won easily without Ben Simmons, who will be out for at least three more weeks due to a nerve impingement in his back.

Christian Wood led the struggling Pistons with a career-high 32 points. Svi Mykhailuk added 16 while Langston Galloway and Thon Maker had 13 each.

The Pistons have lost five in a row and 12 of their past 13.

Philadelphia surged to a 70-55 lead at halftime thanks in large part to eight late points by Korkmaz, who finished the half with 13. Horford had a strong all-around effort before the break with 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

The short-handed Pistons -- without key injured players such as Blake Griffin (knee), Derrick Rose (ankle), Bruce Brown (ankle) and Luke Kennard (knee) -- were led by Wood with 15 at halftime.

After the Pistons closed within 77-68, the Sixers responded with six straight capped by Embiid's 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 15-point lead with 6:41 left in the third.

The Sixers maintained their 15-point advantage after three quarters, going ahead 99-84.

With Philadelphia leading 101-88 early in the fourth, Embiid hardly looked rusty as he converted a layup and followed with a trey for an 18-point advantage with 9:33 remaining.

Wood stole the ball at midcourt, dribbled all the way in and threw down a dunk with 4:13 left, but the Pistons still trailed 117-102. They never closed within single digits the rest of the way.

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