Enes Kanter

Joel Embiid's Broadway Christmas show

Joel Embiid's Broadway Christmas show

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK — Joel Embiid wanted to give Sixers fans the gift of a win on Christmas Day. He and his teammates accomplished that with a 105-98 victory over the Knicks.

The Sixers snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 15-18 on the season.

Kristaps Porzingis (22 points, seven rebounds) garners attention in any game and is the player on the Knicks to watch, but this one turned into a battle of the centers. Enes Kanter put up a massive 31-point, 22-rebound double-double. Embiid was right behind with 25 points and 16 boards in 34 minutes.

• Embiid played after going through pregame warmups to test his back. Taking the court on Christmas Day was significant to him. 

“To me, it’s special because I’ve been here four years and we’ve gone through a lot and a lot of losing,” he said before the game. “To be in this type of matchup, especially with the whole world watching on Christmas, I’m excited.” 

• Turnovers (15 total) crept in toward the end of the game. After Simmons put the Sixers up 103-95 with a two-handed fastbreak dunk, New York's Courtney Lee stole the ball from Embiid with 30 seconds to go. Lee drained a three on the break and Embiid fouled Porzingis on the play, setting up a potential four-point play. But Porzingis missed the free throw and Embiid secured the rebound. 

• Embiid took spills throughout the game, including one chasing a ball out of bounds and another colliding with Jarrett Jack during a drive to the basket. Jack was called for a Flagrant 1, which sparked a free-throw shooting flurry by Embiid, who finished 7 for 8 from the line. 

• T.J. McConnell has a flair for playing against the Knicks. Remember, he hit a game-winning buzzer-beater on them last season. On Monday, he contributed a season-high 15 points off the bench. McConnell became the first Sixers reserve player to score 15 points on Christmas Day since 1988 when Ron Anderson and Gerald Henderson both reached that mark. 

• JJ Redick made his return after missing the last two games because of right hamstring tightness. The veteran quickly got into a rhythm, scoring 15 points in the first half. He finished with 24 (4 for 8 from three, 8 for 8 from the line). 

• Both Dario Saric and Robert Covington had off-shooting afternoons. Covington went 2 for 8 from the field and 1 for 4 from three. Saric kept looking for his shot when it wasn’t falling, going 4 for 15 from the field and 0 for 6 from long range. 

• Before the game, Simmons (eight points, eight rebounds, three assists) gifted all of his teammates with Beats by Dre headphones. 

• The Sixers played on Christmas Day for the first time since 2001, when they competed in Los Angeles against the Lakers. Historically, the Sixers are 6-5 against the Knicks on Christmas Day (five games as the Syracuse Nationals) but have not faced them on Dec. 25 since 1978. 

Best of NBA: Cavaliers complete incredible rally to beat Knicks

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AP Images

Best of NBA: Cavaliers complete incredible rally to beat Knicks

NEW YORK -- LeBron James had 23 points and 12 assists, Kyle Korver scored 19 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to spark a huge comeback, and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the New York Knicks 104-101 on Monday night.

James also had a technical foul after a first-quarter altercation with Frank Ntilikina and Enes Kanter, which seemed to charge up the Knicks as they built what became a 23-point lead late in the third quarter.

But the Cavaliers made nine 3-pointers in the fourth after hitting just seven through three quarters, charging back for their eighth straight victory at Madison Square Garden.

Tim Hardaway Jr. had 28 points and 10 rebounds, and Kanter added 20 points and 16 boards. But Kristaps Porzingis shot only 7 for 21 while scoring 20 points as the Knicks blew their chance to beat the Cavs for the second time this season.

New York led by 15 after three but the Cavs surrounded James with plenty of perimeter shooting and the Knicks couldn't contain them. Cleveland tied it on Channing Frye's 3 with 2:15 to go before James made it 100-97 with another 1:23 left.

The game was just two days after James, following a victory in Dallas, said Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr. should be a Knick. The Knicks passed on Smith in the draft, taking Ntilikina one spot earlier at No. 8 (see full recap).

Curry-less Warriors surge to win over Magic
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Kevin Durant had 21 points, a season-high eight assists and seven rebounds, Shaun Livingston scored a season-best 16 points in place of the injured Stephen Curry, and the Golden State Warriors pulled away in the second half to beat the Orlando Magic 110-100 on Monday night for their seventh straight win.

Draymond Green had a season-high 20 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals as the Warriors completed an unbeaten four-game homestand.

Nikola Vucevic scored 20 points, Evan Fournier had 16 and Aaron Gordon added 10 points and 10 rebounds in the Magic's fourth defeat over six games.

Livingston also had six assists on a night they were without Curry as he nursed a bruised right thigh from where he took a knee Saturday night. Durant sat out with the same injury to his left leg last Wednesday against Minnesota.

Coach Steve Kerr called them similar injuries and is being cautious with two-time MVP Curry, who sat out on his bobblehead giveaway night and has only been receiving treatment on the leg without any on-court work.

"If it was a playoff game he would play, but he's pretty sore," Kerr said. "We've got two days before our next game so this gives us the chance to really get him healthy and right. ... It's a no-brainer to rest him" (see full recap).

Miller’s late threes rescue Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS -- Darius Miller hit four three pointers in the fourth quarter, when he scored 14 of his 21 points, and the New Orleans Pelicans survived a sloppy performance to beat struggling Atlanta 106-105 on Monday night.

DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points and 16 rebounds, and Anthony Davis added 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Pelicans, who've won five of six. E'Twaun Moore tied a career high with 24 points for New Orleans.

Kent Bazemore scored 22 points for the Hawks, who led by as many as 14 points before fading to lose their fourth straight.

Bazemore also missed a critical free throw with 37.1 seconds left. Atlanta still had a chance to take a late lead, but Dennis Schroder's errant pass toward Tyler Cavenaugh sailed out of bounds with 3.2 seconds to go.

Davis' late turnover -- New Orleans' 19th in the game -- gave Atlanta one last desperation shot with about a second left, but Bazemore was unable to get a clean look at his 3-point attempt over Jrue Holiday, and the shot fell short.

Atlanta took advantage of Pelicans mistakes to keep it close and was accurate from deep, hitting 17 of 36 from 3-point range. Cavanaugh, Luke Babbitt and Marco Belinelli each hit four 3s. Cavanaugh finished with 16 points, while Belinelli had 14 and Babbitt 12 (see full recap).

NBA Notes: Warriors spurn White House; Knicks agree to trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder

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USA Today Images

NBA Notes: Warriors spurn White House; Knicks agree to trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder

SOMERSET, N.J. -- President Donald Trump denounced protests by NFL players and rescinded a White House invitation for NBA champion Stephen Curry in a two-day rant that targeted top professional athletes and brought swift condemnation from league executives and star players alike on Saturday.

Wading into thorny issues of race and politics, Trump's comments in a Friday night speech and a series of Saturday tweets drew sharp responses from some of the nation's top athletes, with LeBron James calling the president a "bum."

Trump started by announcing that Curry, the immensely popular two-time MVP for the Golden State Warriors, would not be welcome at the White House for the commemorative visit traditionally made by championship teams after Curry indicated he didn't want to come. Later, Trump reiterated what he said at a rally in Alabama the previous night -- that NFL players who kneel for the national anthem should be fired.

The Warriors said it was made clear to them that they were not welcome at the White House.

Curry had said he did not want to go anyway, but the Warriors had not made a collective decision before Saturday -- and had planned to discuss it in the morning before the president's tweet, to which coach Steve Kerr said : "Not surprised. He was going to break up with us before we could break up with him."

Others had far stronger reactions (see full story).

Knicks agree to trade Carmelo Anthony to Thunder
NEW YORK - Carmelo Anthony won't be at Knicks training camp after all. He'll be in Oklahoma City, joining Russell Westbrook and Paul George in a loaded lineup.

The Knicks agreed to trade Anthony to the Thunder on Saturday, saving themselves a potentially awkward reunion next week with the player they'd been trying to deal since last season.

New York will get Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick, a person with knowledge of the deal said. The person spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been announced.

The Knicks had said just a day earlier that they expected Anthony to be there when they reported for camp Monday. But it was clear they didn't want him anymore and he no longer wanted to be in New York, where he arrived with so much hype that was never fulfilled in February 2011.

He rarely had a championship core around him in New York but jumps right into one in Oklahoma City along with Westbrook, the NBA MVP, and fellow All-Star George, who was acquired from Indiana this summer.

Anthony will see his old teammates soon: The Knicks open the regular season at Oklahoma City on Oct. 19 (see full story).