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NBA: Joel Embiid gets better of James Harden in victory

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76ers center Joel Embiid dunks against the Houston Rockets on Jan. 21.
(Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Joel Embiid had 32 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 121-93 victory over the Houston Rockets and fellow most-valuable-player contender James Harden on Monday night at Philadelphia.

Harden scored 37 points, his 20th straight game with at least 30.

Embiid scored 24 points in the first half to help the 76ers to a 65-50 halftime lead, and he punctuated an entertaining opening 24 minutes by pinning Harden’s layup attempt with 7.5 seconds left for a crowd-pleasing block. The duo had to be separated with 38.7 seconds left in the half, with each being issued a technical, after Harden took exception to Embiid’s foul on him.

at Milwaukee 116, Dallas 106: Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 15 rebounds for the Bucks, who have won five in a row and 12 of 14 to improve their NBA-best record to 34-12. Dallas’ Luka Doncic had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

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New Orleans 105, at Memphis 85: Jrue Holiday and Nikola Mirotic each scored 21 points, Jahlil Okafor and Julius Randle each had 20, and the balanced Pelicans won without injured star Anthony Davis.

at Boston 107, Miami 99: Kyrie Irving had 26 points and 10 assists, Al Horford had 16 points and 12 rebounds and the Celtics won their fourth game in a row.

Portland 109, at Utah 104: Damian Lillard scored 26 points, Jusuf Nurkic scored 17 in the third quarter and the Trail Blazers made 50% of their shots to win for the seventh time in nine games, ending the Jazz’s winning streak at six games.

at Brooklyn 123, Sacramento 94: D’Angelo Russell had 31 points and eight assists for the Nets, who have won four games in a row.

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at Washington 101, Detroit 87: Trevor Ariza scored 20 points, Otto Porter Jr. scored 19 and the Wizards turned in their best defensive performance of the season.

Orlando 122, at Atlanta 103: Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic scored 29 points apiece, Vucevic also had 14 rebounds and the Magic ended a skid at three games.

Oklahoma City 127, at New York 109: Paul George scored 31 points and Russell Westbrook had 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Thunder sent the Knicks to their sixth loss in a row.

Chicago 104, at Cleveland 88: Zach LaVine scored 25 points and the Bulls ended a skid at 10 games, handing the last-place Cavaliers their 16th loss in 17 games.

Golden State 130, at Lakers 111


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