Thaddeus Young had 26 points and 10 rebounds against his former team, and the Indiana Pacers overcame Joel Embiid’s 40-point night to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 113-101 on Friday in a matchup of Eastern Conference contenders.
Embiid also had 21 rebounds, becoming the first Sixers player with at least 30 points and 20 rebounds in a game since Charles Barkley on Dec. 7, 1990. Embiid is the first player in the NBA this season with a 40-point, 20-rebound game.
JJ Redick added 22 points and Ben Simmons had 18 for the Sixers (19-11), who dropped their second straight at home after starting the season 14-1 in their own building. Both losses came without four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler, who’s been out with a strained groin.
Victor Oladipo played in his second consecutive game after missing 11 in a row with a knee injury and had 14 points and nine assists for Indiana (19-10), including a few clutch jumpers in the fourth quarter. Bojan Bogdanovic had 18 points, and the Pacers won their sixth straight to pass the Sixers in the standings.
Fueled by consecutive 3-pointers from Bogdanovic, the Pacers erased a 10-point halftime deficit to take an 80-77 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Bogdanovic’s 3 with 3:46 left stretched Indiana’s lead to 102-92.
Facing the league’s second-best defense, the Sixers jumped out to a 12-2 lead and scored 34 points in the first quarter. After the Pacers went on a 12-0 run to tie it at 38, Embiid exploded for 14 points in the final five minutes of the second quarter, including an acrobatic reverse layup while getting fouled, to put Philadelphia ahead 59-49 at the half.
“M-V-P” chants rang out during the surge from Embiid, who had 28 points and 14 rebounds in the first half. The 7-foot-2 center has posted at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in consecutive first halves, becoming the only player in the NBA with multiple 20-10 first halves this season.
Pacers: Domantas Sabonis had 14 point and 16 rebounds off the bench. Cory Joseph also scored 14. … The Pacers lost to the Sixers in November with Oladipo scoring a season-high 36 points.
76ers: Coach Brett Brown said before the game that Butler will likely return soon, perhaps for the team’s next game Sunday. … Mike Muscala (upper respiratory infection) was back after missing Wednesday’s game but shot just 1 for 8 from the field.
Pacers: Host New York on Sunday.
76ers: At Cleveland on Sunday.
Source: The Associated Press