Embiid rescues Philadelphia

Joel Embiid pours in 39 points as the Philadelphia 76ers clipped the Portland Trailblazers, 120-119, in NBA action yesterday. | JESSE D. GARRABRANT/agence france-presse

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Joel Embiid scored 39 points and drained a superb game-winning jump shot with less than two seconds remaining as the Philadelphia 76ers completed a dramatic 120-119 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday in the National Basketball Association.

The Sixers looked to be heading for defeat after trailing by 21 points in the second quarter, and were down by 13 with less than six minutes remaining in the final period.

But Embiid and James Harden spearheaded a late rally to haul the Sixers back into contention, shutting down the Portland offense while stitching together a run to make it a one-point game with 38 seconds remaining.

And with the clock ticking down, Embiid spun away from the Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic to drain a fadeaway jumper to put the Sixers ahead 120-119, the first time Philadelphia had led during the game.

“I knew I had to get a bucket,” Embiid said afterward of his game-winning play.

“We’d fought the whole game, come back after being down by 20 to make it a one-point game — you’ve got to make those plays. “But my teammates and my coach trust me to do my job.”

Embiid’s 39-points came on 13-of-20 shooting and was the latest in a series of dazzling performances by the Cameroonian star.

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