PHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid had 40 points and 19 rebounds and hit a tying 3-pointer late in regulation, and Tobias Harris scored 11 of his 22 points in overtime to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Utah Jazz 131-123 in a matchup of the NBA’s top two teams.
Ben Simmons added 17 points for the 76ers, who improved their Eastern Conference-leading record to 24-12.
Donovan Mitchell had 33 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Jazz, who lost their second straight. Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic added 18 points apiece for Utah.
Mitchell was ejected with 30.8 seconds left in overtime after picking up his second technical. He got his first with 57.5 seconds remaining in the extra period after arguing a foul call.
The game included four players who will be participating in Sunday’s All-Star game in Embiid, Simmons, Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
The Jazz beat Philadelphia 134-123 on Feb. 15 in Utah, but the 76ers didn’t have Embiid that night. Simmons had 42 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in that game, but Jordan Clarkson hit eight 3-pointers and scored 40 points for Utah.
All the stars were available for this one, and they put on a show.
Philadelphia tied it early in the fourth, and the teams went back and forth down the stretch with neither leading by more than five.
Conley’s two free throws put Utah ahead 118-115 with 21.5 seconds left in regulation. The 76ers couldn’t free their shooters for a tying 3, so Embiid stepped back and drained one himself with 5.9 seconds remaining. Conley quickly drove the length of the court and had a chance to win it, but his runner from the foul line rimmed out.
Harris took over offensively for Philadelphia in the extra session, scoring the 76ers’ first eight points and giving them a 126-123 advantage on a turnaround jumper with 1:37 left. Philadelphia all but clinched it on their next possession when Mitchell was whistled for a technical and Seth Curry made the free throw, and Embiid made one of two earned from the original foul to make it 128-123.
Simmons and Mitchell delivered All-Star-worthy highlights on consecutive third-quarter possessions. First, Simmons stole the ball near Utah’s foul line, dribbled the length of the court and finished with a dunk after being fouled. Then, Mitchell attempted to posterize Embiid, rising high and trying to dunk over the 7-foot-2 centre. Embiid denied the dunk while fouling Mitchell, whose attempt bounced around the rim and into the basket.
BREAK IN NAME ONLY
While most in the NBA will have a few days off this weekend, 76ers coach Doc Rivers and Utah coach Quin Snyder will be leading Team Durant and Team LeBron in Sunday’s All-Star game.
Rivers said he’ll find time to get in a few rounds of golf, and both said the break will be a chance to recharge emotionally — even if they’re still coaching.
"You still get a mental break, if nothing else," Rivers said. "I’ll take advantage of that."
Said Snyder: "It’s an opportunity to collect yourself."
Jazz: Gobert had 12 points and nine rebounds. … Utah is 12-7 on the road.
76ers: Wednesday’s game was expected to be the last in Philly without fans. Beginning with their home game against the Spurs on March 14, the 76ers can host 3,100 fans. … Harris returned after missing the last two games with a right knee bruise. … Philly improved to 16-3 at home.
Jazz: Host Houston on March 12.
76ers: At Chicago on March 11.