Embiid, 76ers top Celtics for 6th straight victory

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              Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving, top, tries to get a shot past Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Philadelphia. Philadelphia won 118-115. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 37 points, 22 rebounds and a key block on Kyrie Irving with 35 seconds remaining, and Jimmy Butler scored 15 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to lead the 76ers over the Boston Celtics for their sixth straight victory.

Tobias Harris added 21 points for the 76ers, who avoided a season sweep by the Celtics. Philadelphia (47-25) holds the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race, three games ahead of idle Indiana and four in front of fifth-place Boston.

Irving scored 36 points for the Celtics.

The game was tied at 113 with a minute left before Ben Simmons converted a three-point play. He banked in a shot with his right hand and got fouled by Marcus Morris, hitting the free throw to make it 116-113 with 40.8 seconds to go. Embiid then rejected a driving Irving on the Celtics’ ensuing possession and Butler sealed it with a long jumper from the wing with 4.7 ticks remaining.

GRIZZLIES 126, ROCKETS 125, OT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — James Harden scored 57 points but the Memphis Grizzlies outlasted Houston, handing the Rockets only their second loss in the last 14 games.

Mike Conley scored 35 points for Memphis and Jonas Valanciunas had a career-best 33, including the game-winning free throw with less than a second left.

Valanciunas made the first of two free throws with 0.1 seconds remaining after he was fouled by Clint Capela under the Grizzlies basket. The clock ran out after Valanciunas, who also had 15 rebounds, missed the second foul shot.

Harden scored 15 during a 17-2 fourth-quarter burst that helped the Rockets tie the game at 115 at the end of regulation. Harden’s three free throws with 4 seconds left tied it.

HEAT 110, SPURS 105

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Goran Dragic had 22 points and the Miami Heat snapped the Spurs‘ nine-game winning streak, sending Dwyane Wade home a winner in his final game in San Antonio.

Dion Waiters added 18 points and Josh Richardson had 15 for Miami, which has won three straight.

San Antonio’s previous loss was Feb. 25 in Brooklyn as part of their 1-7 Rodeo Road Trip. The Spurs had won 11 straight at home.

The Spurs had six players in double figures, but only two starters. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 17 points and DeRozan added 16. Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli added 17 apiece.

CAVALIERS 107, BUCKS 102

CLEVELAND (AP) — Rookie Collin Sexton scored 25 points, Jordan Clarkson added 23 and the Cavaliers delayed Milwaukee from clinching the Central Division with a win over the bruised Bucks, who were without superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Sexton made a 3-pointer with 1:42 left and dropped a driving layup one minute later as the Cavs held on. Down 105-102, Milwaukee had a chance to tie it but had an ugly turnover without getting a shot off.

Sexton became the only rookie in team history to score at least 23 points in seven straight games. Austin Carr (1972) did it six times. Sexton also became the first NBA rookie to score 23 points in seven straight games since Tim Duncan.

Khris Middleton scored 26 points and Eric Bledsoe 24 for the Bucks, who couldn’t wrap up their first division title since 2001. They were at a disadvantage as Antetokounmpo sat his second straight game with a sprained right ankle.

Cleveland’s Kevin Love, who missed Monday’s game in Detroit with a sore lower back, left in the third quarter with an apparent head injury.

MAGIC 119, PELICANS 96

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Evan Fournier scored 22 points and Aaron Gordon added 20 and the Magic routed the New Orleans Pelicans.

Terrence Ross had 19 points and Nikola Vucevic added 15 points and 17 rebounds for Orlando, which won its third straight.

New Orleans played without All-Star center Anthony Davis, who flew home Wednesday morning. The team said Davis was excused to attend a family matter.

Stanley Johnson led the Pelicans with 18 points. New Orleans’ Elfrid Payton had his streak of triple-doubles end at five straight games. He finished with seven points, two assists and three rebounds. The only other NBA players with a triple-double in five straight games are Russell Westbrook (four times), Oscar Robertson (three), Wilt Chamberlain (two) and Michael Jordan (one).

JAZZ 137, KNICKS 116

NEW YORK (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points, Rudy Gobert made all seven shots and added 18 points, and the Utah Jazz romped to their fifth straight lopsided victory by beating the Knicks.

Joe Ingles made six 3-pointers and also scored 18, while Mitchell made five 3-pointers as the Jazz finished 20 of 42 (48 percent) from behind the arc.

The Jazz led by as much as 37 in a game that was even easier than their recent easy victories. They started their winning streak with a 17-point win over Phoenix, then beat Minnesota by 20, Brooklyn by 16 and Washington by 21.

Kevin Knox scored 27 points and Mario Hezonja had 23 for the Knicks, who lost for the 10th time in 11 games in the opener of a six-game homestand that keeps them home into early next month.

BULLS 126, WIZARDS 120, OT

CHICAGO (AP) — Lauri Markkanen had 32 points and 13 rebounds, Kris Dunn scored a season-high 26 — including eight in overtime — to go with 13 assists, and the short-handed Bulls beat the fading Washington Wizards.

Shaquille Harrison scored 18, and Cristiano Felicio 15 for the Bulls, who won their second straight after dropping five in a row, despite leading scorer Zach LaVine (bruised right thigh, right knee tendinitis) and Otto Porter Jr. (strained right rotator cuff) not playing because of injuries.

Jabari Parker led Washington with 28 points against his former team. Bradley Beal scored 27 and hit the tying jumper in the closing seconds of regulation. But the Wizards lost for the third time in four games.

TRAIL BLAZERS 126, MAVERICKS 118

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard had 33 points and 12 assists to lead the Trail Blazers past the Dallas Mavericks.

Seth Curry scored 20 off the bench for the Blazers, who have won five of six as they try to secure home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Portland (44-27) led by as many as 25, and Lillard hit six of the team’s 16 3-pointers.

Luka Doncic had 24 points for the Mavericks, who have lost nine of 10 and sit in second-to-last place in the West, ahead of the Phoenix Suns.

Portland rested Lillard in the fourth quarter. Enes Kanter had 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for his first double-double since joining the Blazers just before the All-Star break.

RAPTORS 123, THUNDER 114

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Pascal Siakam had 33 points and 13 rebounds, Fred VanVleet added 23 points and six assists and the Toronto Raptors won the first of two games in three days against Oklahoma City, blowing a 20-point lead in the second half before beating the Thunder.

Atlantic Division-leading Toronto snapped a four-game losing streak against Oklahoma City despite the absence of starting guard Kyle Lowry, who sat out with a sprained right ankle sustained Monday in a win over the New York Knicks. The Raptors did so with balanced scoring, good ball movement — four players had six assists — and strong shooting, making 51.7 percent overall and 38.9 percent from 3-point range (14 of 36). Kawhi Leonard added 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Danny Green scored 17.

In his return after a one-game suspension for accumulating too many technical fouls, Russell Westbrook had 42 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for Oklahoma City, which has lost four straight games and 10 of 14.