Embiid has 37 points as 76ers ease past Wolves, 118-94
By DAVE CAMPBELL AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joel Embiid racked up 37 points and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a 118-94 victory over the depleted Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.
Tobias Harris added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the 76ers (14-6), as the Eastern Conference leaders cruised away after a five-point halftime lead on the worst team in the Western Conference.
Embiid went 16 for 18 from the free throw line, no match for a Timberwolves team missing centers Karl-Anthony Towns and Naz Reid. Embiid was a game-time decision due to back tightness, but the smooth-moving 7-footer sure didn’t show any sluggishness as the 76ers beat the Wolves (4-14) for the seventh straight time.
The three-time All-Star Embiid, who entered the evening fourth in the NBA in scoring, had his ninth 20-point half of the season, tied for the most in the league. He finished 10 for 19 from the floor.
With Towns out for the seventh straight game due to COVID-19 protocols and Reid sidelined for the first time by a wrist injury, Ed Davis took the big man spot for Minnesota with a four-guard lineup featuring rookie Anthony Edwards (15 points) in his first career start.
Malik Beasley led the Timberwolves with 22 points, and D’Angelo Russell added 14 points on just 3-for-11 shooting after a three-game absence due to a quadriceps injury.
Davis did his best, and the Wolves scrapped their way through the first half to keep the score close until Embiid took over in the third quarter. The 76ers could use more production from Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and Danny Green, who shot a combined 4 for 13 from the floor in the first half, but that wasn’t necessary on this night.
76ers: Harris had his second double-double of the season. … Mike Scott missed his seventh straight game with knee swelling.
Timberwolves: The last time Minnesota beat Philadelphia was here on Nov. 17, 2016, the only win over Embiid. … Jarrett Culver missed his second straight game with a sprained ankle, and Juancho Hernangómez was sidelined for the eighth consecutive game due to COVID-19 protocols. That left the Wolves without three of their top six scorers and four of their nine most-used players.
76ers: Visit the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night.
Timberwolves: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night.
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