NBA: 76ers win again, Nets halt slump and Westbrook matches record
The Philadelphia 76ers continued their hot streak and the Washington Wizards' Russell Westbrook equalled an NBA record on Saturday.
The Philadelphia 76ers made it eight wins in a row by beating the Detroit Pistons 118-104, while Eastern Conference rivals the Brooklyn Nets halted their slump.
Embiid scores 29 points as 76ers' hot streak goes on
MVP hopeful Joel Embiid posted 29 points for the 76ers, who took another step towards clinching the Eastern Conference and top seed ahead of the NBA playoffs on Saturday.
In the absence of Ben Simmons and Seth Curry, rookie Tyrese Maxey added 22 points and Dwight Howard (19 points and 14 rebounds) moved up to 10th on the all-time double-doubles list with his 743rd.
Nets beat Nuggets to get back to winning ways
The 76ers improved to 47-21 for the season and moved three games clear of the Nets (44-24), who returned to winning ways by upstaging the Denver Nuggets 125-119.
Kevin Durant was nine-for-14 shooting for 33 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks as the rallying Nets ended their four-game losing streak to reclaim second spot ahead of the idle Milwaukee Bucks.
Nets team-mate Kyrie Irving added 31 points of his own, while MVP candidate and Nuggets star Nikola Jokic put up 29 points, seven rebounds and six assists at home.
Westbrook matches Hall of Famer
Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook equalled Oscar Robertson's record after posting his 181st career triple-double. Westbrook moved level with the Hall of Famer thanks to his 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists in a 133-132 overtime win against the Indiana Pacers.
The former MVP became the first player in NBA history to record back-to-back games with 15-plus rebounds and 15-plus assists. Team-mate Bradley Beal had 50 points before a hamstring injury forced him to sit out OT.
A Domantas Sabonis triple-double (30 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists) and Caris LeVert's double-double of 35 points and 14 rebounds were not enough for the Pacers.
The NBA-leading Utah Jazz reached 50 victories for the season behind Georges Niang's joint-career high 24 points in a 124-116 win at home to the lowly Houston Rockets.
Damian Lillard's game-high 30 points fuelled the Portland Trail Blazers' 124-102 victory against the San Antonio Spurs.
Jonas Valanciunas dominated with his 47th double-double of the season – 18 points and 21 rebounds – in the Memphis Grizzlies' 109-99 triumph over the Toronto Raptors.
Ellington struggles in Philly
Pistons veteran Wayne Ellington was one-for-seven shooting, while making just one of his six three-pointers for three points in 24 minutes.
The three-point king!
Stephen Curry put on a show in three quarters of action as the Golden State Warriors crushed the Oklahoma City Thunder 136-97. Curry posted 49 points in 29 minutes, matching his season best with 11 three-pointers, including a deep attempt from beyond the arc in the third period. Curry had his 10th 40-point game of the season and 48th of his career. His performance also marked the fourth time he has posted multiple 20-point quarters in the same game, and the first time since 2018.
Suns at Lakers
The high-flying Phoenix Suns (48-19) will be looking to sizzle against struggling defending champions the Los Angeles Lakers (37-30) on Sunday. The Suns are second in the west, while the Lakers are seventh and on track to feature in the play-in tournament.