Tobias Harris sank the go-ahead 3-pointer with 39 seconds left, James Harden scored 31 points, and Joel Embiid had 27 points and 19 rebounds to help the Philadelphia 76ers storm back and beat the Memphis Grizzlies 110-105 on Thursday night.
The 76ers shrugged off three of their worst quarters of the season to turn in a fantastic fourth that nearly shook the arena with each clutch bucket. Down by nine points late in the game, the Sixers took over.
Harden buried a 3 to get the run rolling and Harris sank two free throws, then made a 3 that pulled Philly within 99-98. Embiid, an offensive non-factor most of the game, tied it at 100-all on a jumper.
Jaren Jackson Jr. hit a pair of tough buckets at the rim to put Memphis back ahead by four.
Harden, though, hit one of his six 3-pointers, Harris made it 106-105 with his 3, and Embiid, who also had six blocks, scooped a loose ball for a dunk that sealed the comeback. Harris finished with 20 points.
The Grizzlies stumbled before the All-Star break, losing eight of nine before a 3-1 streak to end the first half. Desmond Bane sored 25 points, Jackson had 18 and Ja Morant 15 for the Grizzlies.
Embiid had a non-COVID illness that perhaps played a role in one of his worst first halves in recent memory. He most recently played in Sunday’s All-Star Game, scoring 32 points in 27 minutes.
Whatever the reason, Embiid missed his first six shots and Sixers fans booed when he tossed up a 28-foot airball in the second quarter. He was 2 of 14 for nine points in the half. Embiid entered second in the NBA in scoring at 33.1 points on 54% shooting from the floor.
Embiid even played the rare role of victim on a dunk attempt. He drive down the lane for a thunderous one-handed dunk attempt was soundly rejected by Jackson and led to a Memphis bucket for a 52-35 lead.
The block encapsulated how badly Memphis had its way with the Sixers.
Bane hit four 3s and scored 19 points in the first quarter. He had 21 at the half and the Grizzlies raced to an early 17-point lead.
It just wasn’t enough against the Harris-Embiid-Harden trio.
76ers: Dunk contest champion Mac McClung rang the ceremonial bell. McClung is on a two-way contract with the 76ers and plays in the G League. … C Dewayne Dedmon sat out with left hip tightness. … Harden reached out to a Michigan State student left paralyzed after a gunman shot and killed three students and injured five others. Harden told John Hao to “stay strong” in a video message.
Grizzlies: Made 11 of 21 shots in the first quarter but missed their last six shots of the game.
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