NBA wrap: Joel Embiid, 76ers blow big lead, rally for overtime win over Hornets

The 76ers blew a huge lead to the Hornets on Friday night, but Joel Embiid stepped up in the end to save the game as Philadelphia prevailed 133-132 in overtime.

Philly (8-5) appeared headed for an easy victory at home, leading by 21 midway through the third quarter, but the Hornets (6-6) rallied behind Kemba Walker. The 6-1 guard finished with 30 points, and while he was not very efficient shooting the ball (9-of-29 from the field, 3-of-14 from long range), he hit several big shots down the stretch to give the Hornets the lead late in regulation.

But while Walker carried the Hornets to the brink of an incredible comeback win, Embiid took control on the offensive end. The 7-foot center scored 16 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter. He made all six of his free-throw attempts in the final two minutes of regulation, and hit arguably the biggest shot of the game, a 28-foot 3-pointer with 34 seconds remaining to tie the contest at 117.

Embiid then scored five points in overtime, including the free throw that turned out to be the game-winner, to seal the victory.

Embiid ended the night with a huge stat line, collecting 18 rebounds to go along with his 42 points. He helped save the 76ers from what would have been an embarrassing and disheartening loss at home. Instead, Philadelphia is still unbeaten (7-0) on their home floor. Ben Simmons contributed 22 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds.

Studs of the night

The Jazz were virtually unstoppable on the offensive end in a 123-115 win over the Celtics, hitting 56 percent of their shots. Joe Ingles led the way with 27 points, but Donovan Mitchell (21), Jae Crowder (20) and Rudy Gobert and Ricky Rubio (17 points each) all had big games.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 39 points and hauled in 19 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Timberwolves lost 121-110 to the Kings.

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic had 37 points and 21 rebounds in a 112-110 loss to the Nets.

Pistons forward Stanley Johnson came off the bench for 22 points, seven rebounds and three steals in 24 minutes in a win over the Hawks.

Dud of the night

Nuggets guard Gary Harris hit only one of his 11 shots from the field and committed five fouls in Denver’s loss to the Nets. Curious stat: Harris had a +6 rating, the best of any Denver player in the game.


Mo Bamba slams home the rebound.

Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie makes it look easy from half court.

What’s next

Rockets (4-6) at Spurs (6-4) 8:30 p.m. ET – The Rockets have won three of four games since opening the season 1-5, but there are still concerns. After a 98-80 loss to the Thunder on Thursday, coach Mike D’Antoni told ESPN the offense is “anemic. I mean, it’s bad:” The Spurs have played well to start the post-Kawhi Leonard era, with DeMar DeRozan averaging 26.4 points and more than six rebounds and assists per game.