Joel Embiid edged out Blake Griffin to sink a game-high 39 points as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Detroit Pistons 109-99 on Saturday.
- Points: Blake Griffin – 38
- Assists: Blake Griffin – 6
- Rebounds: Blake Griffin – 13
- Points: Joel Embiid – 39
- Assists: Ben Simmons – 5
- Rebounds: Joel Embiid – 17
Embiid poured in 32 of his game-high total in the first half and outscored Griffin by a single point as the hosts were able to avenge an earlier overtime loss to their opponents in Detroit.
This time, at the Wells Fargo Center, it was Philadelphia who proved too strong to record back-to-back victories after their win over the Clippers on Thursday which featured Embiid’s 41-point haul.
Embiid did not quite hit those heights but starred from the off with Philadelphia’s first seven points in what turned into a 25-11 game-opening run that gave the 76ers a lead they never relinquished.
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The margin reached 24 in the second quarter and was 69-47 at half-time before the dogged Pistons chipped away in the second half and, while they got closer, they never totalled threatened a comeback.
Consecutive hoops by Ish Smith, including a three-pointer, got Detroit within five with less than five minutes to play but Embiid countered and the 76ers were able to keep the visitors at arm’s length the rest of the way.
Embiid hit 10 of his 18 shots and 18 of 23 free throws just two days after scorching the Los Angeles Clippers and he was backed up by J.J. Redick (16), Mike Muscala (14) and Landry Shamet (11).
Griffin, who had 50 points when the Pistons beat the 76ers 133-132 last month, shot 12-for-21 in the rematch and also found time for 13 rebounds.
Langston Galloway added 13 points for the Pistons, who began the season with four straight wins but have now fallen to a 4-4 record following their latest reverse.
Andre Drummond, saddled by foul trouble and limited to 21 minutes, had just eight points and nine rebounds for Detroit.
The NBA season continues on Sunday with coverage of Sacramento @ Milwaukee from 8.30pm on Sky Sports Arena
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