Another big game for Joel Embiid led the Philadelphia 76ers to an eighth win in nine games, before the superstar delivered a thinly veiled blow to his exiled Australian teammate Ben Simmons.
Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors went on a rampage in a 42-point blowout.
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Saturday, 15 Jan
saturday january 15
EMBIID TAKES SIMMONS SWIPE
Joel Embiid again led the charge offensively for Philadelphia, scoring 25 points and grabbing 13 rebounds as the 76ers beat the Boston Celtics 111-99 for their eighth win in nine games.
Embiid finished five points short of what would have been his ninth straight game with at least 30 points, which would have broken the franchise record he shares with Wilt Chamberlain and Allen Iverson.
He then took a swipe at absentee Australian star Ben Simmons, declaring that the team “have everything we need” to “beat anybody”.
Embiid said: “When I look at where we are when we have most of the team healthy, especially me in the lineup, I think we’re 21-9. That’s not bad, it’s up there with the best records in the NBA… There’s really no urgency to change anything. We have everything we need, we’re going to keep going and I’m happy.”
He answered a follow-up question with, “I think we all have to do our best and when we’re at our best, I think we can beat anyone.”
Tyrese Maxey added 23 points, Tobias Harris had 17 points and Seth Curry scored 17 for Philadelphia, which rebounded from a 109-98 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday that snapped its seven-game winning streak.
Jaylen Brown had 21 points and Jayson Tatum added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics. Payton Pritchard came off the bench to score 17 points and Robert Williams had 12 points and 14 rebounds.
THE WARRIORS EXPLODE FOR THE BIGGEST VICTORY OF THE SEASON
Golden State came off a slump with its most dominant win of the NBA season on Friday, the Warriors continuing their dominance over Chicago by defeating the Bulls 138-96 at the United Center.
Andrew Wiggins finished with a team-high 21 points and Stephen Curry surrendered 19 as the Warriors bounced back from a 118-99 loss to the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.
The loss to the Bucks was the Warriors’ fourth in their last five games. Rookie Jonathan Kuminga finished with 25 points and Jordan Poole scored 22 for the Warriors, who pulled away early to win their 10th straight game over the Bulls, including five in a row in Chicago.
The Bulls’ problems increased on Friday after being beaten by the Brooklyn Nets two nights earlier.
Already with a starting forward with Derrick Jones sidelined with a hyperextended right knee, Chicago lost All-Star Zach LaVine early in the game after injuring his right knee.
LaVine retired from the game committing an intentional foul. He appeared to injure his knee moments earlier while looking for a rebound.
Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 14 rebounds, Coby White added 20 points and DeMar DeRozan scored 17 for the Bulls, who were booed off the court Friday trailing 78-47 at the half. They suffered their worst loss of the season.
The Warriors played without Klay Thompson, who was resting. Thompson is coming back from a serious injury, so coach Steve Kerr doesn’t want to use him in back-to-back games.
Thompson has played in three games after returning from a 2 1/2-year absence with a torn ACL and Achilles tendon injury.
In Indianapolis, Devin Booker scored 22 of his 35 points in the third quarter and Deandre Ayton had 27 points and 12 rebounds to power the visiting Phoenix Suns to a 112-94 win over the Indiana Pacers.
Booker hit six 3-pointers to tie a career high and give Phoenix its fifth win in the last six games.