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Red-hot Sixers slip past Grizzlies; Curry powers Warriors over Rockets

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Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers drives past Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center on January 31, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (AFP)

Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris combined for 64 points as the Philadelphia 76ers won their fifth straight game with a 122-119 overtime victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in a clash between two of the hottest teams in the NBA on Monday.

Maxey scored 33 points and Harris finished with 31 points for the Sixers, who won despite being without their leading scorer Joel Embiid.

“Our motto tonight was don’t let them punk us,” said Maxey.

Maxey, who also had eight assists and four blocked shots, scored the go-ahead basket with 26 seconds left in the fourth quarter in front of a crowd of 20,400 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Ja Morant led the Grizzlies with 37 points and Desmond Bane added 34, including five points in overtime.

The Sixers and the Grizzlies have been two of the best teams in the league since Christmas.

Embiid has been the catalyst for Philadelphia during the surge which has seen them win 15 of their last 18 games.

He did not play against Memphis on Monday because the team wanted to give him the night off.

Tobias Harris produced 31 points and Andre Drummond had 16 points and 23 rebounds in the win.

Jaren Jackson tallied 18 and Steven Adams grabbed 12 rebounds for Memphis, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

The Grizzlies have won 12 of 15 in January but their difficult schedule finally caught up with them against the Sixers.

Maxey, who went to the University of Kentucky, says he enjoys the challenge of going up against an elite guard like Bane, who played college at Texas Christian University.

“You circle some of these games on the calendar because it is a marquee match-up,” Maxey said. “Bane is a great player. He came out of my class. Today I wanted to get the win and put the world on notice as well.”

Elsewhere, Stephen Curry scored 40 points, including 21 in the final quarter, as the Golden State Warriors won their sixth straight contest with a 122-108 blowout victory over the mistake-prone Houston Rockets.

Curry also had nine assists and five rebounds and made seven three-pointers en route to posting his sixth 40-point game of the season.

Andrew Wiggins had 23 points for Golden State who shot 53.8 percent from the floor and 42.5 percent from beyond the arc.

 

Warriors turn it on late

Stephen Curry of Golden State Warriors dribbles the ball during the game against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. (AFP)

The Warriors sent Houston to their fourth consecutive loss and 11th straight defeat on their home court.

Curry carried the offensive load in the fourth, shooting seven-of-10 from the field and four-of-seven from three-point range. Wiggins grabbed five rebounds and shot eight of 14 in the win.

Christian Wood (24 points, 13 rebounds) and Kevin Porter (17 points, 11 assists) posted double-doubles for the Rockets, who dug themselves a huge hole after committing eight third-quarter turnovers.

In Boston, Jaylen Brown scored a game-high 29 points and Jayson Tatum contributed 20 points and 12 rebounds as the Boston Celtics thrashed the Miami Heat 122-92.

Marcus Smart added 16 points and seven assists and Al Horford contributed 14 points and nine boards for the Celtics, who have beaten the Heat twice this season.

Miami struggled to score with forward Jimmy Butler out due to a right toe injury.

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