PHILADELPHIA — Magic Johnson and LeBron James have captured eight NBA titles between them. With Johnson in the stands and James on the court, the Philadelphia 76ers showed off their own championship potential.
Joel Embiid had 37 points and 14 rebounds, Tobias Harris scored 22 points in his second game with Philadelphia, and the new-look 76ers beat James and the Los Angeles Lakers 143-120 on Sunday.
JJ Redick added 21 points for the Sixers, who have won two straight after acquiring Harris and four others at Thursday’s trade deadline. Jimmy Butler finished with 15 points in front of a packed Philly crowd that brought a playoff-like feel to the nationally televised game.
“The East better watch out,” said Johnson, the Lakers president who made the trip to Philly for the game. “This is a stacked team.”
Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 39 points while James had 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
James was facing Philadelphia for the first time since the Sixers made a big push to sign the superstar as a free agent last summer. He and Kuzma both missed the last matchup with Philly on Jan. 29, which the Sixers won 121-105.
“I thought they were going to be very good anyway before they made any moves, before the season even started,” James said. “And they’ve made a bunch of moves to improve their club.”
Fresh off a buzzer-beating win at Boston, the Lakers shot nearly 60 percent and scored 40 points in the first quarter. But fueled by Redick’s four-point play, the Sixers closed the first half on a 19-6 run to take a 76-67 lead into halftime.
Embiid, who was questionable to play because of gastroenteritis, led the charge with 25 points in the first half after lighting up the Lakers for 28 in the teams’ first matchup.
“I must not be a big LA fan,” said Embiid, who had his league-leading 23rd game with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds. “It’s fun. I’ve been more consistent against both LA teams.”
Philadelphia’s lead ballooned to 109-94 at the end of the third quarter after T.J. McConnell’s 3-pointer in the closing seconds. The Sixers ran away with the game from there while gleeful fans chanted “Kobe’s better” at James.
“We had too many breakdowns,” James said. “Way too many breakdowns.”
MAVERICKS 102, TRAIL BLAZERS 101
DALLAS — Luka Doncic scored 28 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 24 and Dallas erased a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Portland.
Doncic also had nine rebounds and six assists. Damian Lillard scored 21 of his 30 points in the last half of the third quarter to help the Blazers build a lead that grew to 96-81 early in the fourth.
KINGS 117, SUNS 104
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Marvin Bagley III had a career-high 32 points and six rebounds and Sacramento handed Phoenix its 14th straight loss.
Buddy Hield scored 18 points, De’Aaron Fox had 17 points and nine assists, and Nemanja Bjelica added 10 points and eight rebounds to help Sacramento win for the fifth time in six games.
Devin Booker had 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists in his return from injury for Phoenix. The Suns’ losing streak is one shy of the franchise record set last season.
MAGIC 124, HAWKS 108
ATLANTA — All-Star Nikola Vucevic scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, leading the Orlando Magic to a 124-108 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night.
Despite getting into Atlanta around 2:40 a.m. after a 20-point victory at East-leading Milwaukee the previous night, Orlando looked like the fresher team by far in recording its third straight victory, matching its best run of the season.
WARRIORS 120, HEAT 118
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 39 points and DeMarcus Cousins made two free throws with 5.4 seconds to play that helped Golden State cap a comeback from a 19-point deficit in the first quarter to beat Miami.
Cousins rebounded a missed 3-pointer by Durant and drew a foul, setting the stage for his winning free throws that gave the Warriors their 11th double-digit comeback of the season, and second straight after rallying from 17 points down in the first quarter Friday in Phoenix.
Klay Thompson scored 29 points and Stephen Curry added 25 for Golden State. Josh Richardson helped shoot Miami to the big early lead and finished with a career-high 37 points with help from eight 3-pointers.