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Wizards surprise Embiid’s Sixers, Nets slide continues

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Spencer Dinwiddie delivered a triple-double of 14 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to power the short-handed Washington Wizards to a 106-103 NBA victory over the 76ers in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Dinwiddie drove for a layup with 1:33 remaining to break a 98-98 tie, putting the Wizards ahead for good in a game that featured 17 lead changes – though just two in the fourth quarter. Sixers centre Joel Embiid warmed up after a slow start, scoring 27 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.

The Wizards, playing without star Bradley Beal, who is nursing a wrist injury, got 24 points from Kyle Kuzma to snap a six-game losing streak. Embiid, Philadelphia’s Most Valuable Player candidate, who averaged 34 points and 10.8 rebounds in January to earn Eastern Conference player of the month honours, came out flat after sitting out Monday’s overtime victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

He made just one of six shots in the first quarter before finding his rhythm to lead a 76ers second-quarter rally.

“I thought overall we did a terrific job on (Embiid),” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr said.

“He’s a tough guard. You have to send multiple bodies for him to get off the ball. I know you look at the numbers and he scored 27, but over the last five, he’s averaging close to 40.”

Washington Wizards’ Spencer Dinwiddie. PHOTO: AP

Elsewhere, Lu Dort scored 14 of his 30 points in overtime to power the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 120-114 overtime victory over the Mavericks in Dallas.

Rookie Tre Mann scored a career-high 29 for the Thunder, who put together their first back-to-back wins since winning three in a row in December. The Thunder overcame a 40-point performance from Mavs star Luka Doncic. Reggie Bullock came off the bench to score 23 and Jalen Brunson chipped in 18 for the Mavs, who trailed by 12 early in the fourth quarter.

Bullock drained a three-pointer to put Dallas up by two with 8.5 seconds remaining in regulation, but Kenrich Williams drove for a layup to tie the game and Doncic missed a three-point attempt at the buzzer to end regulation.

The reeling Brooklyn Nets suffered their sixth straight defeat, falling 112-101 to the Kings in Sacramento.

Second-year guard Tyrese Haliburton scored seven of his 12 points in the fourth quarter and handed out 11 assists for the Kings.

Harrison Barnes scored 19 points, leading seven Kings players in double figures as Sacramento halted a seven-game losing streak.

Nic Claxton led the Nets with a career-high 23 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. James Johnson scored 18 points, but James Harden, still battling pain in his right hand and a hamstring strain, scored just four points.

The Nets, who are still without injured star Kevin Durant, led by eight at halftime and by three going into the fourth quarter. But they are now on their longest losing streak since a seven-game skid over December 2019 and January 2020.

“You add it all up, it looked like a tired team in the second half, and the game swung completely the other way,” Nets coach Steve Nash said, adding that he thought Harden was noticeably tired.

“He didn’t have his legs,” Nash said. “It was one of those nights.”

It was close in Indianapolis, meanwhile, where Gary Harris scored 22 points and Wendell Carter Jr had 19 with 18 rebounds to help the Orlando Magic rally for a 119-118 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers, led by Caris LeVert’s 26 points, were up by as much as 17 points in the third quarter.

Harris scored 10 points in the fourth to fuel Orlando’s comeback.

Memphis schooled the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, where Grizzlies star Ja Morant scored 23 points and handed out nine assists in a 120-108 victory.