NBA round-up: Embiid comes out on top in Giannis showdown
In a battle of two MVP candidates, Joel Embiid and the 76ers came out on top over Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks on Thursday.
Joel Embiid had 42 points as he inspired the Philadelphia 76ers to a 123-120 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
With James Harden having arrived to bolster the 76ers' championship bid, but still missing due to a hamstring injury, Embiid served up a reminder of just how crucial he is with another supreme display on Thursday.
This time, it was reigning NBA champions the Bucks who were on the receiving end of a masterful showing from the 27-year-old, who also tallied up 14 rebounds and five assists.
The Bucks came close, though, and had their own MVP to thank for that – Giannis Antetokounmpo helping himself to a double-double of 32 points and 11 rebounds, while also contributing nine assists.
Embiid, fittingly, put Philadelphia ahead for good with a 10-foot shot in the final quarter.
It marked a valuable return to form for the 76ers, who can enter the All-Star break on a high despite Tuesday's dismal 135-87 defeat to the Boston Celtics. They are third in the Eastern Conference with a 35-23 record, while the Bucks sit fifth (36-24).
Doncic downs Pelicans
Anything Embiid or Antetokounmpo can do, Luka Doncic is out to do it better.
The Dallas Mavericks star had 49 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in a 125-118 defeat of the New Orleans Pelicans.
Doncic has now had 45 points or more in three of his last four games for Dallas, who enter the break in fifth place in the West.
Nets back to losing ways
After snapping an 11-game losing streak with victories over the Sacramento Kings and New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets fell to a 117-103 reverse in Washington.
Rui Hachimura led the way for the Wizards with 20 points, as they moved to 2-2 for their series against the Nets this season.
The Los Angeles Clippers beat the Houston Rockets to win for a third time in their last four games, while the Miami Heat were overtime winners over the Charlotte Hornets.