WASHINGTON – Joel Embiid shrugged off the lingering effects of illness to score 50 points as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Washington Wizards 131-126 in the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Dec 6.
The reigning NBA Most Valuable Player missed the Sixers’ last two games due to ill health but returned with a bang to deliver a season-high performance in a slender victory on the road.
It was the second monster performance by the Cameroonian centre against the Wizards this season after he dropped 48 points in a 146-128 victory on Nov 6.
Embiid, who also had 13 rebounds and seven assists, revealed after the win that he was still not fully fit.
“I didn’t feel good. My chest was killing me,” he said. “I started to feel better in the second half but I was struggling.”
The victory saw the Sixers improve to 13-7 to remain in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, two games back from top-of-the-table Boston.
Tyrese Maxey backed Embiid with 26 points while De’Anthony Melton added 19.
Jordan Poole led the Washington scorers with 23 points as the Wizards slumped to their 17th defeat of the season to remain second from bottom in the East.
Elsewhere, Nikola Jokic bagged a triple-double but was unable to stop NBA champions the Denver Nuggets falling to a 111-102 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Nuggets sprinted into a 15-point lead early in the first quarter, but Los Angeles roared back with a 40-point second quarter before outscoring Denver 32-20 in the fourth to complete an impressive win.
Jokic finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists with Jamal Murray leading the Denver scoring with 23 points.
But the Clippers powered to victory behind 25 points from Paul George – including five three-pointers – with James Harden chipping in with 20.