Basketball

Embiid and the 76ers eclipse the Suns

Cameroonian has 33 points as his side remain the only unbeaten team at home

Joel Embiid scored 33 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to power Philadelphia over the Phoenix Suns 119-114 yesterday morning (Singapore time), keeping the 76ers the NBA's only unbeaten team at home.

The 24-year-old Cameroonian 7-footer made 12-of-23 shots from the floor and added three steals, as the Sixers improved to 9-0 at home and 12-7 overall despite trailing 62-57 at half-time.

"It was good," Embiid said. "We can't be taking possessions off. Tonight we did.

"We had a lull but we picked it up. I was just trying to do my job."

Australian playmaker Ben Simmons added 19 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the 76ers.

Jimmy Butler added 16 in his fourth game since coming from Minnesota to the 76ers, who won for third time in four days.

"It's great," Embiid said of Butler's arrival. "He helps us a lot, especially on the defensive end. We've got to have him.

"We've got to keep working and he's going to take us a long way."

Devin Booker scored a game-high 37 points with eight assists for the Suns.

Bahamas big man Deandre Ayton, the top pick in this year's NBA draft, added 17 points and nine rebounds.

"He's going to be a really good big man in this league," Embiid said of Ayton, whom he had taunted on social media before the season.

In Sacramento, Buddy Hield scored 25 points, hitting three-pointers on three consecutive possessions late in the fourth quarter, to help lift the Sacramento Kings to a 117-113 win over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder.

Hield's late treys helped the Kings overcome a strong finish from the Thunder's Russell Westbrook, who scored 13 of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter.

It was Westbrook's first game since Nov 5, when he sprained his left ankle late in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans.

We had a lull but we picked it up. I was just trying to do my job.Joel Embiid, who had 33 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for the 76ers

Westbrook missed six consecutive games, for both the injury and the birth of his twin daughters over the weekend.

He hit four three-pointers at Sacramento, the first time he sank multiple three-pointers in a game this season.

After the Kings let an early 19-point lead slip away in the second half, Sacramento took the lead for good with just more than seven minutes remaining on Bogdan Bogdanovic's three-pointer that broke a 91-91 tie.

Hield started his hot streak that ultimately put Sacramento up 107-98 with 3:36 left.

Iman Shumpert added 23 points for the Kings, with all of his scoring coming in the first half.

Bogdanovic scored 16 points, and Marvin Bagley Jr had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Sacramento. - REUTERS

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