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76ers defeat Nets 123-117 in matchup of Eastern leaders

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PHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid had 39 points and 13 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers beat Brooklyn 123-117 on Wednesday night in an anticipated matchup that fizzled with the Nets missing their biggest stars.

The Sixers (38-17) moved into first place in the Eastern Conference in a game played without James Harden, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge. With the Nets standouts hurt or just rested, the game had more of a preseason feel than a possible preview of the conference final this summer.

The Sixers improved to 21-5 at home.

Kyrie Irving scored 23 points in the first half — his eighth 20-point first half of the season — and finished with 37 points for Brooklyn.

BUCKS 130, TIMBERWOLVES 105

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Khris Middleton had 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in three quarters as Milwaukee breezed past Minnesota.

Brook Lopez added 18 points and eight rebounds, Jrue Holiday pitched in 15 points and three steals, and the Bucks built a lead as big as 30 points early in the fourth quarter on the way to their second consecutive blowout.

Anthony Edwards scored 24 points on 5-for-11 shooting from 3-point range for the Timberwolves, who have lost 11 of their past 15 games. The Bucks played without Giannis Antetokoumpo because of left knee soreness for the sixth straight game.

CAVALIERS 103, HORNETS 90

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Taurean Prince scored a season-high 25 points with six 3-pointers, Jarrett Allen had 15 points and eight rebounds in his first action since March 26 and Cleveland handed short-handed Charlotte its third straight loss at home.

Kevin Love added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who snapped a two-game skid.

Terry Rozier had 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to lead the Hornets. Miles Bridges added 20 points.

It was Allen’s first action since suffering a concussion against the Los Angeles Lakers, forcing him to miss eight games.

RAPTORS 117, SPURS 112

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — OG Anunoby scored 22 points, Pascal Siakam had 20 points and 11 rebounds and short-handed Toronto beat San Antonio.

Raptors rookie Malachi Flynn had a big fourth quarter, scoring eight of his 16 points in the period and finishing with seven assists. Khem Birch had 14 points and six rebounds in his first start for Toronto.

Derrick White led San Antonio with 25 points, and Patty Mills added 23.

KNICKS 116, PELICANS 106

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Julius Randle scored 32 points against his former team and New York clamped down defensively on Zion Williamson for a victory over New Orleans.

Alec Burks scored New York’s first 11 points of the fourth quarter, added a crushing 3 and finished with 21 points for the Knicks, who’ve won four straight for the first time this season.

Williamson mustered 25 points against a Knicks defence that packed the paint to stop him. Brandon Ingram scored 28 for New Orleans, which saw its three-game winning streak snapped.

MAGIC 115, BULLS 106

CHICAGO (AP) — James Ennis scored 22 points, Wendell Carter Jr. added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Orlando snapped a six-game losing streak by beating Chicago.

Zach LaVine scored 30. Nikola Vucevic had 29 points and 11 rebounds in his first game against the Magic since they dealt the two-time All-Star to Chicago at the deadline. But the Bulls fell to 3-8 since the trade.

Carter, acquired in the Vucevic trade, came up big in his first game against the team that drafted him with the No. 7 overall pick in 2018. Gary Harris and Michael Carter-Williams scored 15 apiece.

Daniel Theis finished with 16 points, but the Bulls dropped their fourth in a row.

CLIPPERS 100, PISTONS 98

DETROIT (AP) — Reggie Jackson sank a jumper with 2.3 seconds left against his former team, giving the Clippers their seventh straight victory.

The Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter despite playing without several key players. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Serge Ibaka, Patrick Beverley and Marcus Morris were all out for Los Angeles.

Jerami Grant scored 28 points and Saddiq Bey added 17 for Detroit.

Jackson finished with 29. Luke Kennard — another former Piston — had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

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The Associated Press