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Embiid, Maxey help Sixers tame Raptors

Joel Embiid connives with Tyrese Maxey in powering the Philadelphia 76ers to a come-from-behind 114-107 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Photo by MARK BLINCH / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey each scored 34 points to power Philadelphia’s 114-107 comeback victory over the Toronto Raptors in the National Basketball Association on Saturday.

Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Embiid added nine rebounds, eight assists a steal and two blocked shots for the 76ers while Maxey also contributed seven assists and six rebounds.

The Raptors led 36-27 after the first quarter but Philadelphia, which dropped the season opener at Milwaukee on Thursday, battled back.

“I feel good. I feel confident. We dropped one we shouldn’t have on Thursday so we were determined to get one here,” Maxey said.

“We had a slow start, we’ve got to fix that, but once we got our feet wet and guys got comfortable, we really executed and got stops, so that helped us.”

Brandon Ingram scored 26 points and Zion Williamson added 24 to lead New Orleans over visiting New York 96-87, giving the Pelicans a 2-0 NBA start.

Williamson, nagged by injuries as a rookie and again last year by a hamstring injury, hit 12-of-17 shots while Ingram made 11 of 17 to spark the Pelicans, who have missed the playoffs in four of the past five seasons.

“They carried us offensively and that’s what they need to do night in and night out,” Pelicans coach Willie Green said.

“Their gravity generates quality shots for us and for themselves. I thought tonight they both did a spectacular job.”

New Orleans limited the Knicks to 12 points in the first quarter and New York never recovered.

“That’s the defense we want to see night in and night out,” Green said.

“We’re flying around, contesting shots, having each other’s backs.”

R.J. Barrett led the Knicks with 18 points while Julius Randle had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Green has high hopes Williamson can live up to the lofty expectations for him when he was made the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

“He’s special. He’s handling the ball, seeing what options he has and then he just takes off,” Green said.

“His touch around the basket — I don’t know if anybody else in the league can do what he does at his size. It’s special to watch.”

Chicago’s Zach LaVine scored 51 points in a losing cause, the Bulls falling at Detroit, 118-102.

LaVine hit 19-of-32 shots from the floor, including 7-of-13 from three-point range, and made 6-of-8 from the free throw line.

But Cade Cunningham scored 25 points and passed off 10 assists while Jalen Duren added 23 points and grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds to lead the Pistons to victory.

Washington’s Jordan Poole scored 27 points and Kyle Kuzma added 21 points and 13 rebounds to spark the host Wizards over Memphis 113-106 despite 26 points by Desmond Bane 26 to lead the Grizzlies.

Reserve Aaron Nesmith scored 26 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 125-113 victory at Cleveland while Naz Reid’s 25 points off the bench led Minnesota’s 106-90 home romp over Miami.

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