Em­biid lifts Six­ers past Hor­nets

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PHILADEL­PHIA – Joel Em­biid re­peat­edly stepped to the free throw line with one thought in mind dur­ing crit­i­cal mo­ments of the Philadel­phia 76ers' over­time vic­tory over the Char­lotte Hor­nets.

“Got to make them,” Em­biid said. “They call me 'clutch' for a rea­son, so got to make them.”

Em­biid was 14 for 16 from the line be­tween the fourth quar­ter and over­time to help ice the 76ers' 133-132 vic­tory Fri­day night. He had 42 points and 18 re­bounds.

The Hor­nets fought back from a 21-point deficit and led by five with 1:18 re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion be­fore the Six­ers forced ex­tra time. Kemba Walker scored 19 of his 30 points in the fourth quar­ter for the Hor­nets.

Em­biid chal­lenged the Hor­nets' de­fense as they at­tempted a come­back vic­tory and fo­cused on draw­ing con­tact. Hor­nets start­ing cen­ter Cody Zeller fouled out in reg­u­la­tion af­ter com­mit­ting five fouls in the fourth.

"It's tough keep­ing him off the free throw line just be­cause he is so phys­i­cal," Zeller said. "He can shoot it from three, play off the drib­ble, he's ob­vi­ously a wide body in the post, so those are the tough­est guys to de­fend that can play kind of play at ev­ery spot on the court."

Em­biid thrives on get­ting to the line where he is shoot­ing 81.8 per­cent, up from 76.9 per­cent last sea­son. He has earned the con­fi­dence of the Six­ers to ag­gres­sively seek out shots there.

"He's a re­ally good shooter any­ways and he's con­fi­dent by na­ture, so that's a pretty good col­li­sion of skill and mind," 76ers coach Brett Brown said. "You trust him go­ing to the line and shoot­ing a high per­cent­age. He's not afraid of the mo­ment."

Em­biid's ex­e­cu­tion down the stretch left the Hor­nets search­ing for an­swers on de­fense.

JAZZ 123, CELTICS 115

In Salt Lake City, Joe In­gles matched his ca­reer high with 27 points and added a sea­son-high seven as­sists to help Utah beat Bos­ton in Gor­don Hay­ward's re­turn to Utah.

Hay­ward had 13 points and seven as­sists in his first game back in Utah since leav­ing the Jazz in free agency af­ter the 2016-17 sea­son. He broke his left an­kle last sea­son in the opener.

Dono­van Mitchell added 21 points for Utah, Jae Crow­der had 20, and Rudy Gobert fin­ished with 17 points and 15 re­bounds. Terry Rozier scored 22 points for Bos­ton, and Jayson Tatum had 21.

PAC­ERS 110, HEAT 102

In Mi­ami, Vic­tor Oladipo had 22 points and 10 as­sists, Bo­jan Bog­danovic put In­di­ana ahead to stay on a 3-pointer with just un­der a minute re­main­ing and the Pac­ers beat Mi­ami.

Do­man­tas Sabo­nis and Dar­ren Col­li­son each scored 17 points, and Bog­danovic had 16 to help the Pac­ers snap a two-game slide. The Pac­ers outscored Mi­ami 16-2 in the fi­nal 3:31.

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