76ers top Pistons despite Butler’s early exit

Joel Embiid

(Field Level Media) Joel Embiid scored 24 points, and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the visiting Detroit Pistons 116-102 on Monday night despite losing Jimmy Butler to a strained groin.

Ben Simmons added 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, Furkan Korkmaz contributed a career-high 18 points, and T.J. McConnell had 14 for the Sixers, who improved to 14-1 at home.

It was Simmons’ 19th game this season with at least 10 points, five assists and five rebounds.

JJ Redick also had 13 points as Philadelphia won for the sixth time in seven games.

Butler got hurt with 2:20 remaining in the first quarter and didn’t return. He missed all three shots from the field and wound up scoreless in nine minutes after having scored 38 points in each of the previous two games.

Luke Kennard scored a career-high 28 points while Andre Drummond added 21 points and 17 rebounds for the Pistons, who have dropped five in a row. Reggie Jackson contributed 15 points and seven assists.

The Pistons played without guard Ish Smith (adductor injury) and All-Star forward Blake Griffin, who was rested by the team.

The Sixers built a 15-point lead and eventually held a 56-47 advantage at halftime. Simmons hit his first five shots and finished with a team-high 11 points in the first half.

Kennard led all scorers on both teams with 12 first-half points.

Embiid converted a three-point play with 7.8 seconds left in the third to cap an 11-2 run that gave the Sixers an 87-75 lead. The Sixers were ahead 87-76 at the end of the quarter.

Kennard drained a 3-pointer from the wing to close Detroit within 87-79 at the start of the fourth.

Bruce Brown later drove to the basket and the Philadelphia lead was sliced to 89-83.

After Drummond knocked down a free throw, the Pistons trailed 89-84 with 7:58 left. Embiid then threw down a dunk, Simmons hit a layup and Landry Shamet corralled an offensive rebound and connected on 1 of 2 free throws for a 94-84 lead with 7:14 remaining.

The Pistons got within 99-90 before Korkmaz scored five consecutive points with a 3-pointer and a layup. That provided more than enough of a cushion to propel the Sixers to a win.

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