Embiid scores 36 points, Harden has triple-double for 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Philadelphia

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Joel Embiid rocked braids and had 36 points and 11 rebounds, James Harden added a second straight triple-double and the Philadelphia 76ers routed the Detroit Pistons 147-116 on Tuesday night.

Harden finished with 16 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds

Embiid returned from a three-game absence with a sore left foot with a new look. But it was the same dominant performance out of last season’s NBA scoring champion. Embiid is chasing a second straight scoring crown — his 33.5 average entering the game was just a tick behind Dallas’ Luka Doncic’s 34.0 average — and he’s trying to pass Wilt Chamberlain (33.5; 1965-66) for highest season-scoring average in team history.

This game was never in doubt.

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Two days after Harden also had a triple-double in the 76ers’ victory at Detroit, the Sixers raced to a 24-point lead in the first half. The Pistons have the worst record in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers have done their part in putting Detroit there. The 76ers beat the Pistons 123-111 on Sunday.

Saddiq Bey, Jaden Ivey and Rodney McGruder each scored 17 points for the Pistons.

Harden got his triple-double in the third quarter.

Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey hit a 3 for a 38-29 lead in front of the Pistons bench and coach Dwane Casey tossed his hands in the air and called for a timeout.

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Whatever was drawn up, it didn’t work: Philadelphia came out of the timeout and scored the next 10 points. The 76ers scored 42 points in the third and sat their starters in the fourth.

Tip-ins

Pistons: Isaiah Stewart (left shoulder soreness) was a late scratch. Former 76er Nerlens Noel got the start.

76ers: Harden leads the NBA with five games of at least 15 assists. It’s the most for any 76er since Mo Cheeks had five in 1987-88. Harden also passed Kyle Lowry for 25th on the NBA’s career assist list. … Embiid scored 20 points in a half for the 16th time this season. He had nine rebounds.

Up next

Pistons: Host Minnesota on Wednesday night.

76ers: Host the Thunder on Thursday night.

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