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Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid comes up clutch as 76ers escape against Cavaliers, despite poor shooting performance

#Embiid
(NBA Getty Images)

The Philadelphia 76ers escaped with a 98-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, thanks to a clutch bucket from Joel Embiid.

With the 76ers trailing 97-96 with 13.2 seconds remaining, Tobias Harris got the ball to Embiid in the paint and the All-Star big man did the rest, jamming home the go-ahead bucket.

Kevin Love had got a good look down the other end with a wide-open three-pointer that missed off the back iron, giving the 76ers their second win in a row.

"That's what I gotta do," Embiid said in his on court interview after the final buzzer. "Great pass by Tobias, great play call by coach and I just had to do the rest...finish it."

Embiid led the way with 27 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and two blocks and was the only 76er to find range from the three-point line, going 3-of-5 from deep.

The 76ers were ice cold from the three-point line, shooting 8-of-38 on the night, with Tobias Harris (0-of-11) and Josh Richardson (1-of-8) struggling. Philly missed their first eight attempts of the night, before Embiid connected on a triple late in the first quarter.

Richardson finished with 17 points on the night, while Ben Simmons added 15 in his first game back after missing their last two due to a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder.

Despite his struggles shooting the ball, Harris came up with some big possessions down the stretch, having a hand in all three crunchtime buckets as Philly closed the game on a 6-0 run after trailing 97-92 with 3:34 remaining.

His putback layup cut the deficit to three points with 2:17 remaining, before draining a mid-range jumper shortly after to make it a one-point game, sealing the win with the dime for Embiid's dunk.

Kevin Love and Jordan Clarkson led the Cavs with 20 points apiece, while Collin Sexton added 18. Tristan Thompson recorded 17 points and 12 rebounds, showing off his improved range, going 2-of-3 from the three-point line.

Encouragingly for the 76ers, despite a poor shooting performance, they were able to lean on their defence down the stretch, with Embiid and Simmons both coming up with clutch plays on that side of the floor when they needed it most.

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