NBA roundup: Ben Simmons leaves with knee injury in Sixers’ win; Nuggets, Jazz win; Nets rout Celtics
Joel Embiid had 30 points and 11 rebounds, and the Philadelphia 76ers held on to beat the Washington Wizards 107-98 on Wednesday despite losing two-time All-Star Ben Simmons to a knee injury in the third quarter.
There was no immediate word from the 76ers on the extent of Simmons’ injury, which occurred as he landed awkwardly after grabbing an offensive rebound. At the next break in the action he walked gingerly to the locker room and did not return.
He was shown leaving the locker room in street clothes late in the fourth quarter.
Tobias Harris added 17 points for the 76ers, who pulled within a game of the Pacers for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
The win was anything but easy for the 76ers.
Embiid picked up his fourth and fifth fouls within a span of 20 seconds and left the game with 6:55 remaining and the 76ers leading 89-83. But Harris made a jumper and Shake Milton converted a 3-pointer and a turnaround jumper to help maintain the lead before Embiid returned in the closing minutes.
Thomas Bryant had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the fast-fading Wizards, who have gone 0-4 since the restart and would be eliminated from playoff contention if Orlando and Brooklyn win their games later Wednesday.
Washington has the worst record (24-44) of the 22 teams in Orlando.
Nuggets 132, Spurs 126
Michael Porter Jr. had 30 points and 15 rebounds, and Denver rallied in the fourth quarter to beat San Antonio.
Nikola Jokic added 25 points and 11 assists. Jerami Grant finished with 22 points.
Two days after posting a career-high 37 points in Denver’s win over Oklahoma City, Porter stayed hot, scoring 10 of the Nuggets’ first 16 points against San Antonio.
San Antonio, which started the day two games behind Memphis for the final playoff spot in the West, dropped to 2-2 since the restart.
Rudy Gay scored 24 points and Derrick White added 23 points and seven assists for the Spurs (29-38).
Jazz 124, Grizzlies 115
Joe Ingles scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and Utah kept Memphis winless in the NBA bubble.
Mike Conley had 23 points and seven assists against his former team for the Jazz (43-25), who improved to 2-2 in the seeding round and nudged ahead of Houston (42-25) for the fourth spot in the Western Conference standings.
Dillon Brooks scored 23 points, while Grayson Allen had a career-high 20 points and six 3-pointers as the Grizzlies dropped to 0-4 in the seeding round, further endangering their chances of hanging on to the No. 8 seed in the West playoffs.
Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Ja Morant added 20 points and nine assists for Memphis (32-37). But the Grizzlies have lost five straight overall since March, and Portland (31-38) leads a pack of four teams now within three games of the eighth seed.
Raptors 109, Magic 99
Fred VanVleet had 21 points and 10 assists, and the Toronto Raptors held on to beat the Orlando Magic 109-99 on Wednesday night.
Pascal Siakam added 15 points and Kyle Lowry finished with eight points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.
Toronto (49-18) has won its last seven dating back to before the hiatus and three straight games since the restart.
The Magic (32-37) missed an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot following Washington’s loss to Philadelphia earlier Wednesday. But they maintained their 7 1/2-game lead over the Wizards for the eighth seed with four seeding games to play.
They also may be without forward Aaron Gordon for an undetermined amount of time after he left the game in the third quarter with a left hamstring injury after taking a hard foul from Lowry.
Gordon was going up for a dunk and was hit on the arm as Lowry went to strip the ball. Gordon’s left leg extended high in the air before he crashed to the floor and immediately reached for his left hamstring. He was able to shoot the ensuing free throws but then struggled to run down the court. He went to the locker room on the next timeout.
Lowry received a Flagrant 1 foul after a review by officials. Gordon had nine points and 11 rebounds at the time of his injury.
Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross each had 15 points for Orlando.
Nets 149, Celtics 115
Jaylen Brown stayed hot with 21 points on five 3-pointers, and the Boston Celtics rolled past the Brooklyn Nets 149-115 on Wednesday night without All-Star point guard Kemba Walker.
Jayson Tatum added 19 points, and Gordon Hayward and Robert Williams each had 18 for the Celtics, who posted a season high in points and improved to 2-2 at Disney World.
Boston shot 20 of 39 from 3-point range.
The Celtics bolted to a fast start, scoring 71 points in the first half on 8-of-17 shooting from 3-point range. They led by as many as 21 before the break while Walker rested his sore knee.
Brown came into the game averaging 23.3 points over the last three games and finished 7 of 13 from the field.
Jeremiah Martin scored 20 points and Joe Harris had 14 for the Nets.
Caris LeVert was held to 13 points, after scoring a career-high 51 in an overtime victory over the Celtics in March just before the suspension of the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the Nets, a day after knocking off NBA-leading Milwaukee, were never competitive in this one.
The third-place Celtics (45-23) are four games behind second-seeded Toronto and 1 1/2 games ahead of Miami. The Nets will have to wait for another day to clinch a playoff spot.
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