NBA round-up: Embiid extends scoring streak in 76ers win, new-look Pacers defeated
A number of players performed well on new teams on Friday, but MVP frontrunner Joel Embiid remains the 76ers' main man for now.
Joel Embiid extended his scoring run as the Philadelphia 76ers won their first game since trading for James Harden on Friday.
The 76ers have been busy in trade action this week, finally moving on Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets and receiving Harden in exchange, but focus returned to the court against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Former MVP Harden is yet to make his 76ers bow, but Embiid – perhaps the best performer of this NBA season – continued to perform without him.
The Cameroonian center had 25 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks in the 76ers' 100-87 win, which also saw Tyrese Maxey score 24.
This was Embiid's 22nd straight game with 25 or more points in a sequence only three players – Kevin Durant (twice), new 76er Harden and former 76er Allen Iverson – have topped this century.
Embiid, who shows no sign of slowing, had already secured the best streak by a foreign-born player of the past 50 years when Giannis Antetokounmpo's 20-game run ended against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.
Pacers new boys beaten
The 76ers next play the Cleveland Cavaliers, who will be on a high after a dramatic late show against the new-look Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers, fired by debutants Tyrese Haliburton (23 points) and Buddy Hield (16 points, nine rebounds, eight assists), did not trail at any point until late in the fourth quarter at home to the Cavs.
But Rajon Rondo's three-pointer swung momentum in the Cavs' favour, and their own recent signing Caris LeVert had a key role late on as he finished with 22 points in a 120-113 win.
More debutants deliver
Haliburton and Hield were not alone in making an instant impression.
Montrezl Harrell had 15 points as the Charlotte Hornets routed the Detroit Pistons 141-119, also boosted by 31 from LaMelo Ball and a triple-double for Terry Rozier. Meanwhile, Derrick White's 15 from the bench helped the Boston Celtics see off the Denver Nuggets despite Nikola Jokic's triple-double.
It was not all about those who have been on the move this week, though, as Jokic showed.
Dejounte Murray had a 32-point triple in the San Antonio Spurs' defeat of the Atlanta Hawks, while DeMar DeRozan's remarkable season continued with his fifth straight 30-point game.
DeRozan reached 35 as a blistering fourth quarter took the Chicago Bulls past the Minnesota Timberwolves 134-122.