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NBA playoffs: Joel Embiid leads 76ers past Nets after two players are ejected

Jared Dudley, Jimmy Butler
Brooklyn Nets forward Jared Dudley, left, and Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler get into a shoving match before being ejected during the second half of the 76ers’ win on April 20.
(Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)

Joel Embiid had 31 points and 16 rebounds, and passed to Mike Scott for the go-ahead 3-pointer with 18 seconds left as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Brooklyn Nets 112-108 on Saturday to take a 3-1 series lead.

Embiid also had a flagrant foul that led to a scuffle and two ejections during an eventful return to the lineup after missing Game 3 with a sore left knee.

Tobias Harris had 24 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the 76ers. They can advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the second straight season with a victory at home Tuesday night.

They got a big boost from the return of Embiid, who scored eight straight points in the fourth quarter after the Nets led by seven. He helped the 76ers overcome the loss of Jimmy Butler, who was ejected in the third quarter after Embiid’s hard foul on Jarrett Allen.

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Caris LeVert scored 25 points after being inserted into the Nets’ starting lineup. D’Angelo Russell and Allen each added 21.

Jared Dudley also was inserted into the starting lineup for the Nets and had been agitating the 76ers with his defense and his talking, but was gone midway through the third quarter as one of the central figures in the scuffle that spilled into the stands.

Embiid swung his arm forcefully while fouling Allen, and Dudley quickly moved in and bumped Embiid. Butler then ran in and pushed Dudley to start the shoving. Dudley, Simmons and referee Ed Malloy all got knocked into the seats, and after a lengthy video review, Butler and Dudley were given technical fouls and ejected, and Embiid’s foul was ruled a flagrant 1.

Nuggets 117, at Spurs 103: Nikola Jokic had 29 points and 12 rebounds, Jamal Murray added 24 points and the Denver Nuggets beat the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, rebounding from a flat performance tie the first-round series at two games apiece.

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LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and nine rebounds for San Antonio. DeMar DeRozan added 19 points before he was ejected with five minutes remaining after arguing with an official over an offensive foul.

Game 5 is Tuesday night in Denver.

Bucks 119, at Pistons 103: Khris Middleton had 20 points and nine rebounds and Milwaukee beat Detroit to take a 3-0 series lead.

The Bucks can finish off the Eastern Conference series Monday night in Detroit.

The Bucks overcame 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists from Blake Griffin in his return from a right knee injury. He missed the first two games of the series after sitting out four of the final six in the regular season.

Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe each scored 19 points for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 14 points and 10 rebounds, struggling with foul trouble.

Rockets 104, at Jazz 101: James Harden overcome a horrible shooting performance and scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Houston Rockets to a 104-101 win over the Utah Jazz for a commanding 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Harden made a 3-pointer and added two free throws with 42.4 seconds left to give the Rockets a 101-97 lead. After Donovan Mitchell made two free throws, Harden missed another 3-point attempt, but P.J. Tucker, who finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made one of two free throws.

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Mitchell had a wide-open look at a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, but like so many of his shots in the hard-fought contest, it was off the mark.

Harden misfired on his first 15 shots and was 3-for-20 shooting with 10 assists. He was 14 for 16 from the line.

Mitchell scored 34 points but struggled shooting, too, making just 9 of his 27 attempts. Derrick Favors had 13 for the Jazz.

Game 4 is Monday night in Utah.

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