By Tommy Matthews

Joel Embiid had 42 points and 11 rebounds and James Harden 27 as the Sixers beat a Pelicans team that lost Zion Williamson to a strained right hamstring, 120-111.

Williamson scored 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting through three quarters before he left for the locker room in the fourth. Williamson pulled up on a fastbreak and handed off the ball late in the third. Williamson, averaging 26 points, gingerly ran to the corner and lingered on the court for a bit before he was lifted from the game. Williamson’s career has been defined by injuries and dominance, notably a career-best 42 points last week against Minnesota.

Without Williamson, the Pelicans couldn’t keep up with the 76ers.

Embiid pushed the lead in the fourth on a driving, crashing layup and spun around like a top on his rear end for dramatic effect. He sank the free throw for a 106-96 lead. He did walk gingerly to the bench moment later but stayed in the game.

Embiid had his eighth game this season with at least 35 points and 10 rebounds and was serenaded by the fans with “MVP! MVP!” chants.

De’Anthony Melton buried a 3 for the 76ers for a 113-107 lead and Harden came right back and hit another 3 to seal their 10th straight home win.


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