Embiid's injury scare overshadows Sixers' win

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Embiid's injury scare overshadows Sixers' win


The Sixers beat the Clippers 112-98 Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center, but the bigger story was a Joel Embiid injury scare.

Embiid was driving against Tyrone Wallace in the fourth quarter when Wallace reached in to steal the ball. Embiid tried to move toward the ball and fell. He laid on his back with his right leg bent in the air, banging on his right knee with his fist. Embiid walked off the court on his own with 7:33 to play but went to the locker room with the trainer shortly thereafter (see video). 

Embiid returned to the game less than three minutes later. He recorded his 28th double-double of the season with 29 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks. Embiid had been questionable leading into this game with a right ankle injury. He was cleared to play after going through warmups.

The Sixers (28-25) swept the Clippers (28-26) this season. They previously beat the Clippers 109-105 in Los Angeles on Nov. 13. The Sixers have won their first three games of this five-game homestand.

• Doc Rivers gave big praise to Ben Simmons before the game, comparing the rookie point guard's passing abilities to those of Magic Johnson. "He’s going to be unbelievable," Rivers said. Simmons scored 14 points with 10 assists and five rebounds.

• T.J. McConnell can now be called "Three-J" McConnell. He shot a perfect 3-for-3 from long-range en route to 17 points and eight assists in 26 minutes off the bench.

• The Sixers got another spark off the bench from Justin Anderson, who tired his season-high with 12 points. Anderson scored 10 in the first half.

• Sharpshooting sixth man Lou Williams matched his season average of 23 points for the Clippers. 

• JJ Redick dropped 17 points (5-for-10 from three) against his former team. 

“It always feels good to beat your former team," Redick said. "But nothing but love for those guys over there. But that last three-pointer, I emphasized that a little bit. That was ball game, so that felt good."

• Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox was in attendance.

How Sixers can clinch a playoff spot

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How Sixers can clinch a playoff spot

The Sixers could lock in a playoff spot Saturday night, but their postseason berth does not hinge on whether or not they beat the visiting Timberwolves.

The 41-30 Sixers would clinch if the 32-40 Pistons lose to the 24-48 Bulls. This is a meeting of two struggling teams, both who are 3-7 in their last 10 games and the Bulls are on a four-game losing skid.

The Sixers will have to wait for the results, though. The Pistons and Bulls tip off one hour after the Sixers, who have an early 6 p.m. game.

The Sixers' goal of making the playoffs would not stop with clinching a berth. They have their eyes set on homecourt advantage, a battle that could come down to the final games.

The Sixers currently sit in the fourth spot in a heated competition with the Pacers and Wizards. Keep an eye on how John Wall's health (knee) impacts this race. He practiced five-on-five Saturday.

Who needs Kawhi? Aldridge drops 45 in Spurs' OT win

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Who needs Kawhi? Aldridge drops 45 in Spurs' OT win

SAN ANTONIO -- LaMarcus Aldridge had a career-high 45 points, helping San Antonio overcome Donovan Mitchell's 35-point performance for Utah in the Spurs' 124-120 overtime victory over the Jazz on Friday night.

The Spurs won their sixth straight and beat the Jazz for the first time in four meetings this season.

Utah's 12-game road winning streak came to an end, but only after Mitchell had 14 points in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers in the final two minutes to force overtime.

San Antonio remained sixth in the Western Conference with the same record as fifth-place New Orleans, a half-game behind Oklahoma City for fourth. Utah remained eighth in the West.

After free throws by Spurs guards Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills and a dunk by Jazz center Rudy Gobert put San Antonio up 114-111, Mitchell drained his third 3-pointer of the fourth with 3.6 seconds remaining to force overtime.

Mills, who finished with 23 points, had six points in overtime as the Spurs capped an undefeated six-game homestand.

Pacers use late run to edge Clippers
INDIANAPOLIS -- Bojan Bogdanovic scored 28 points and the Indiana Pacers used a late 9-0 run to hold on for a 109-104 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, putting them on the precipice of clinching a playoff spot.

The Pacers won for only the second time in five games but can clinch a playoff berth with one more win or a Detroit loss.

Los Angeles' fading playoff aspirations were dealt another blow. The Clippers are now three games behind Utah for the final postseason spot in the Western Conference. Utah was playing later Friday.

Lou Williams led Los Angeles with 27 points and DeAndre Jordan finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds as the Clippers lost for the fifth time in six games (see full recap).

Jokic, Murray lift Nuggets over Wizards
WASHINGTON -- Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray each scored 25 points to keep the Denver Nuggets' playoff hopes alive by beating the Washington Wizards 108-100 on Friday night.

The one-two punch of Jokic and Murray plus outside shooting from Will Barton allowed the Nuggets to withstand a third-quarter charge from the Wizards and maintain their sights on one of the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference. Denver went into the night two games back of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz and shot 50 percent from 3-point territory to stay very much in the race with nine games remaining.

Bradley Beal led Washington with 24 points as it failed to gain ground in a competitive East where five teams are separated in the standings by four games (see full recap).