Joel Embiid on Saturday scored 24 points in his return from a 10-game injury absence to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 122-113 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Embiid added eight rebounds and three blocks in his first game since suffering a bruised left knee during the 76ers 127-101 win over the Washington Wizards last month.
“It felt great,” said Embiid, who played with his knee heavily bandaged. “Just trying to get my rhythm back. I’m going to blame the brace I was wearing. I just felt like I didn’t have my rhythm all game. It felt like I wasn’t smooth. I hate the brace.”
Tobias Harris scored a team high 32 points, Shake Milton and Ben Simmons each had 14 points and Seth Curry added 13 for the 76ers, who have won 12 of their last 15 contests.
The 76ers beat the Timberwolves for the eighth consecutive time, shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc and 50 percent from the field.
Still, head coach Doc Rivers was not happy.
“We won the game, but I wasn’t thrilled how we played,” Rivers said. “It was one of those sloppy, ugly games. We had so many chances to put the game away, but we refused to do that tonight.”
Karl-Anthony Towns tallied 39 points and 14 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have lost seven of their past nine games. Towns could have added to his totals, but he fouled out of the game. Anthony Edwards chipped in 27 points.
Elsewhere, the Dallas Mavericks used another solid defensive performance to hold their opponent to fewer than 100 points for the second consecutive game as they capped a five-game road trip with a 109-87 win over the Washington Wizards.
Luka Doncic finished with 26 points, Jalen Brunson came off the bench to score 19 as the Mavs posted their fourth straight win.
All five Maverick starters scored in double-figures, including Boban Marjanovic who tallied 15 points, 12 rebounds.
He was starting in place of Kristaps Porzingis, who was given the night off because Dallas was playing two straight days.
Tim Hardaway scored 16 points, making consecutive three-pointers in the fourth quarter that gave the Mavericks a dominating 19 point lead which ended the Wizards comeback hopes.
In other games on Saturday, it was:
‧ Heat 115, Cavaliers 101
‧ Knicks 125, Pistons 81
‧ Pacers 139, Spurs 133
‧ Trail Blazers 133, Thunder 85
‧ Bucks 129, Kings 128
‧ Jazz 137, Magic 91
TAKE TWO: Tainan TSG are the favorites going into this season, which starts on Sunday. They have fearsome forwards and national ’keeper Pan Wen-chieh between the posts Defending champions Tainan TSG (Taiwan Steel Group) face a tough challenge from their southern neighbors Taipower and CPC FC when the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) season starts this weekend with four matches on Sunday. Promoting grassroots soccer, and organizing relegation and promotion between the top and second divisions last year was important for the progression of Taiwanese soccer, CTFA chairman Chiou I-jen told a news conference in Taipei yesterday. “We are going in the right direction ... and becoming more competitive” for international competitions, Chiou said. Still the favorites, Tainan TSG have the league’s most fearsome forwards, with three international star players.
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Nine-year-old Thai kickboxer Pornpattara “Tata” Peachaurai is eager to get back in the ring after COVID-19 curbs brought his fight season to a halt more than five months ago. The money he earns is vital income for his family. “All the money from boxing, the regular payment and the tips, it all goes to mum,” the lean young fighter said. “I’m proud to be a boxer and to earn money for my mum.” Tata’s last fight was in October last year, before a second COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand shut down sports events as bans on large gatherings were reimposed. “I cannot box. I
After several humbling losses to the West Division leaders, the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday sent quite the message to the Colorado Avalanche in their last of eight regular-season matchups. Eight was more than enough for the Wild to slow the Avalanche. Kevin Fiala notched his first career hat-trick, while Kirill Kaprizov had two of Minnesota’s three power-play goals as the sharp-shooting Wild beat Colorado 8-3 to hand the Avalanche their first regulation loss in 16 games. “We can play against you guys,” Fiala said. “If we’re going to meet them in the playoffs.” Luke Johnson, Ryan Hartman and Joel Eriksson Ek also scored as