Joel Embiid had 31 points and 13 rebounds, and the Philadelphia 76ers scored 83 points in the first half in a 149-107 thrashing of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night in Jimmy Butler’s first game against his former team.
The Golden State Warriors were the only team to score more first-half points in a game this season when they dropped 92 on the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 29. The Sixers hit a team-record 21 3-pointers and reached their highest point total in the 22-year history of the Wells Fargo Center.
Butler scored 19 points in the first meeting with Minnesota since it sent him to the 76ers in a package deal that brought forwards Robert Covington and Dario Saric in return. Covington and Saric were popular core pieces of Philadelphia’s Trust the Process rebuild and both received massive ovations from an appreciative crowd in tribute videos.
HAWKS 142, THUNDER 126
ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young had 24 points and 11 assists to win the showdown of past and former Atlanta point guards, leading the Hawks over Oklahoma City.
Former Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder scored 21 points in his return to Atlanta. Schroder struggled early but had 14 points in the third period when the Thunder outscored the Hawks 41-27 to reclaim the lead.
Atlanta was similarly dominant in the second period, outscoring Oklahoma City 45-30 to match its high mark for any quarter this season. After holding a big lead of 15 points, the last time at 70-55, the Hawks led 70-59 at halftime.
John Collins made 12 of 14 shots from the field and led Atlanta with 26 points. Alex Len had 24 points and 11 rebounds. The Hawks were 18 of 37 on 3-pointers.
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 31 points and 11 assists. Paul George had 24 points and Jerami Grant added 21.
BUCKS 124, HEAT 86
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in his fourth triple-double of the season, and Milwaukee cruised past Miami.
Eric Bledsoe had 17 points and Malcolm Brogdon added 16 for Milwaukee, which has won 13 of 16 dating to Dec. 14. The Bucks improved to 31-12, second-best in the NBA.
Justise Winslow and Hassan Whiteside had 19 points apiece for Miami, which fell to 21-21.
PACERS 131, SUNS 97
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 points in Indiana’s easy victory over Phoenix.
Myles Turner returned for the first time in four games to finish with 18 points and six rebounds. Turner was nursing a sore right shoulder over the last week.
Indiana got off to a hot start thanks to Bogdanovic, who scored the Pacers’ first 10 points. The Pacers doubled the Suns’ total in the first quarter, leading 38-19 at the end of the period.
Indiana limited Devin Booker to eight points in 26 minutes. Rookie Deandre Ayton finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. T.J. Warren led Phoenix with 18 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 16 points off the bench.