Joel Embiid celebrated his first NBA All-Star selection with 26 points and matched a career best with 16 rebounds, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to an 89-80 win over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.
Dario Saric scored 16 for Philadelphia, which won for the sixth time in seven games and ended a three-game losing streak against Boston. T.J. McConnell had 15 points — all in the second half.
The Celtics played without All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, who rested a sore left shoulder. Al Horford and Marcus Morris each scored 14 points.
After winning seven in a row, Boston has lost two straight.
The Celtics had no answer for Embiid, who was 10 for 19 from the floor and 6 of 7 at the foul line. He also had six assists and blocked two shots.
CAVALIERS 104, MAGIC 103
CLEVELAND – Isaiah Thomas made two free throws with 11 seconds left and Cleveland came up with a defensive stop in the frantic final seconds after blowing a 23-point lead.
After Thomas made his shots, Orlando’s Elfrid Payton missed a contested layup with three seconds left. The officials ruled there was an inadvertent whistle and held a jump ball at midcourt.
Magic forward Aaron Gordon grabbed the toss and sank an apparent game-winning 45-footer as the horn sounded and Cleveland’s crowd shrieked in disbelief. But Gordon committed a jump-ball violation with the move and Cleveland then only had to inbound the ball to come away with a win that shouldn’t have been so difficult.
Thomas had 21 points and LeBron James finished with 16, helping the Cavs stop a four-game slide.
The Magic have dropped 17 of 19. Payton scored 19 and Gordon had 17. (The Associated Press)