71 Butler’s polish
JIMMY Butler scored 38 points and Australian wunderkind Ben Simmons shot 18 as the Philadelphia 76ers overcame Joel Embiid’s absence against the Detroit Pistons, rallying from a 15-point thirdquarter deficit to win 117-111.
Blake Griffin had 31 points and 12 rebounds for Detroit in Friday’s NBA clash but the Pistons squandered their big third-term lead as well as a sixpoint advantage in the fourth.
The 76ers rested Embiid, but Detroit couldn’t take advantage of the big man’s absence. Butler, who also scored 38 points in a loss at Toronto on Wednesday, had 26 in the second half on Friday.
Point guard Simmons had 14 rebounds and six assists while JJ Redick bagged 18 points and five assists.
Detroit was up 98-92 in the fourth but the 76ers went on a 16-2 tear to take control.
The Pistons were up 100-97 when Detroit coach Dwane Casey received a technical foul after arguing a foul call.
Redick made the free throw and then added a three-pointer to put Philadelphia ahead for good.
The 76ers then rattled off another seven points in a row.
In Milwaukee, Golden State was too classy for Aussie Thon Maker’s Bucks, winning 105-95.
Warriors guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson equal topscored with 20 points apiece, while star Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo led the hosts with 22 points.
Maker scored just one twopointer.
D’Angelo Russell scored 29 points, including six in overtime, and the Brooklyn Nets snapped an eight-game losing streak by upsetting the Eastern Conference leader Toronto Raptors 106-105.
Indiana Pacers cruised to an easy 112-90 win over Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 113-107 victory over Denver Nuggets, and Sacramento Kings rolled Cleveland Cavaliers 129-110.