76ers

Best of NBA: Paul George, Steven Adams lift Thunder to victory

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USA Today Images

Best of NBA: Paul George, Steven Adams lift Thunder to victory

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Paul George had 35 points and nine assists to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-107 on Friday night and snap a three-game losing streak.

Steven Adams had a career-high 27 points on 11-for-11 shooting from the field and Russell Westbrook added 15 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds for Oklahoma City.

The Thunder shot 51.9 percent from the field and outrebounded the Timberwolves 42-26. It was Oklahoma City's first win of the season by fewer than nine points.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points each and Jimmy Butler added 22 for the Timberwolves, who shot 51.3 percent in the loss.

Minnesota won the previous two meetings this season by a combined five points (see full recap).

Warriors run away from Magic
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Klay Thompson scored 27 points, Kevin Durant had 25 and Steph Curry 23 to help the Golden State Warriors rout the Orlando Magic 133-112 on Friday night.

Durant was ejected for arguing with 4:52 left. Jordan Bell added 16 points, Draymond Green 12 and Omri Casspi 11 for Golden State, which expanded a 13-point lead after Durant left.

Aaron Gordon led Orlando with 29 points, Evan Fournier had 22, and Jonathon Simmons 18. The Magic have lost 10 of their last 11 and were playing catchup all night against the defending NBA champion Warriors.

Golden State led wire-to-wire, taking advantage of crisp passing and aggressive shooting by its stars to build an early lead and successfully hold off any Magic rallies. The Warriors had 46 assists, the highest number by an NBA team this season. Thompson was 11 of 14 from the field, and Durant 10 of 14.

Orlando also had a good night offensively, making 11 three-pointers and shooting 45.8 percent, but the Magic do not have the firepower to get into a shootout with the Warriors.

Golden State backup guard Shaun Livingston was the only one of the 19 players used in the first half not to score (see full recap).

Wizards ride huge 3rd quarter to win
WASHINGTON -- Markieff Morris shook off his recent struggles to score 23 points, Tomas Satoransky added a career-high 17 points off the bench, and Washington Wizards beat the Detroit Pistons 109-91 on Friday night for their first home win in nearly three weeks.

Otto Porter Jr. added 17 points, and Marcin Gortat had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Washington, which improved to 2-2 without All-Star point guard John Wall since he received injections in his swollen left knee.

The Wizards outscored Detroit 35-15 in the third quarter, the Pistons' lowest-scoring period of the season, to secure their first home victory since Nov. 13.

Andre Drummond had 14 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists for the Pistons, who were still outrbounded 49-32.

Tobias Harris scored 15 points for Detroit, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. The Pistons led by as many as seven points in the second quarter (see full recap).

NBA admits mistake that leaves Sixers scratching their heads

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AP Images

NBA admits mistake that leaves Sixers scratching their heads

CAMDEN, N.J. — The Sixers were right.

The Sixers argued they should have set up at halfcourt, not fullcourt, for a decisive final possession of double overtime in Friday’s game against the Thunder. After a closer look following their triple-overtime loss, the NBA ruled the Sixers were proved correct. 

“After review, it was determined that the 76ers called timeout with 00:01.2 remaining on the game clock, which was prior to Saric's (PHI) dribble. Therefore, they should have been given the opportunity to advance the ball into their own frontcourt for the inbound,” the NBA Officiating’s Last Two Minute Report noted.

The confusion occurred at the end of the second overtime. Dario Saric got a defensive rebound and the Sixers called a timeout before he dribbled the ball. Because of this, the Sixers should have been allowed to set up a final play in the halfcourt, which is exactly what they had practiced and called.

But the referees made a last-second change as the Sixers were setting up. The Sixers were told they had to inbound from fullcourt, which would have been the case if Saric had dribbled before the timeout. The Last Two Minute Report indicated he, in fact, did not. 

“Respect that they are that transparent, but complete disappointment that it can happen,” Brett Brown said Sunday. “You really scratch your head. It’s significant.”

Every play, every basket can make a difference for a team fighting to make the playoffs. The Sixers were confident they could have won the game with the halfcourt play. Instead, they dropped back down to .500 and currently 10 in the Eastern Conference.

“Those things you need to avoid to give yourself every chance to win,” Brown said. “We can point to many other things that were self-inflicted wounds that we’ve got to do better. But when it’s that exposed and that prominent of an environment with 1.2 seconds left, it’s disappointing. But like I say, they’re transparent. I respect the fact they admitted it and we move on.”

Joel Embiid out Monday against Bulls; 2 other Sixers sidelined

Joel Embiid out Monday against Bulls; 2 other Sixers sidelined

CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid does not play both games of a back-to-back, but whether he plays in either of the Sixers' next two matchups will have to be determined.

Embiid is not traveling with the Sixers to Chicago for Monday’s game against the suddenly-streaking Bulls, who have won five straight. The big man usually plays at home in these scenarios, and considering he played 49 minutes in Friday’s triple-overtime loss, the decision was expected.

Embiid’s availability for Tuesday at home against the Kings, though, has not been finalized at this point. This is not surprising either being two days ahead of the game. Embiid, who has been dealing with back tightness, did not participate in practice Sunday. The Sixers will evaluate, monitor, and go through treatment with Embiid before making their call.

“Unsure at this stage,” Brett Brown said Sunday. “I do know he’s categorically out tomorrow and we’re going to learn more about him being available when we come back [for] Sacramento, I’d expect in the next 24 hours.”

The Sixers do know they will be without another two players for some time.

Trevor Booker will miss at least the next two games after suffering spraining his left ankle Friday. The newly acquired reserve will be reevaluated in approximately five-to-seven days.

Even though Booker was traded to the Sixers less than two weeks ago, he already made an impact on the second unit. Brown has seen enough over the last four games to know what the team will be missing.

“His toughness,” Brown said. “He’s got a motor. He plays with such a spirit. He’s a man. He’s a pro. He’s been in the league for a while. He gets it. It’s everything that you miss. It’s really everything this team needs.”

Furkan Korkmaz likely will be sidelined even longer. The rookie suffered a Lisfranc injury on his left foot while playing for the Delaware 87ers on Dec. 15 and is out indefinitely. The Sixers recalled Korkmaz from the G League and he is going through evaluation and testing. There is no timetable set for Korkmaz at this point.  

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons described the injury as, “Lisfranc (midfoot) injuries result if bones in the midfoot are broken or ligaments that support the midfoot are torn. The severity of the injury can vary from simple to complex, involving many joints and bones in the midfoot.”

Korkmaz has been going back and forth between the Sixers and their G League affiliate in Delaware to get playing opportunities as part of his development in his first NBA season.