PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid scored 27 points, including the go-ahead dunk with 13.2 seconds remaining, to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 98-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night.
Josh Richardson added 17 points and Ben Simmons had 15 for Philadelphia, which won despite missing 30 of 38 3-point attempts. Tobias Harris missed all 11 of his 3-point tries.
Jordan Clarkson and Kevin Love each had 20 points to pace Cleveland. Collin Sexton added 18 points and Tristan Thompson had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers trailed for most of the contest, but took advantage of Philadelphia’s poor shooting in the fourth quarter, going up by as many as five points on three occasions.
Cleveland led 97-92 with 3:34 remaining after Sexton’s driving layup, but the Cavaliers wouldn’t score again. Harris pulled Philadelphia within 97-94 with a follow layup and then hit a 17-footer on the ensuing possession to make it a one-point game with 1:42 left.
Cleveland had chances to build the lead after that, but Love missed a close-range shot before a shot-clock violation on the Cavaliers’ next possession.
The 76ers were having their own trouble scoring with Richardson and Embiid failing to convert on consecutive possessions.
After a timeout with 26.6 seconds left, coach Brett Brown called a high-percentage play with Harris finding Embiid close to the basket. Embiid slammed it home to give the 76ers their first lead, 98-97, since early in the fourth quarter. Cleveland had a chance to win it, but Love’s attempt from the top of the key rimmed out.
Simmons returned after missing two games due to a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, but Philadelphia played without Al Horford (rest).
Philadelphia missed its first eight 3-pointers before Embiid connected from long range with 1:49 left in the first quarter. The 76ers finished the first period 1 for 11 from the arc with Harris missing all five of his 3-point attempts.
The 76ers finished the first half going 3 for 20 from 3-point range, but led 54-48.
Cavaliers: Kevin Porter Jr. returned in the second half after appearing to injure his hip early in the second quarter. Porter finished with four points. John Henson (hamstring) and Ante Zizic (foot) sat out.
76ers: Shake Milton (knee) and Trey Burke (left calf) didn’t play.
Cavaliers: Host Miami on Thursday.
76ers: At Orlando on Wednesday.