PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid scored 16 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to their first victory of the season, 109-105 over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
Ersan Ilyasova added 14 points for Philadelphia, which was the last winless team in the NBA. The 76ers snapped a 44-game losing streak in October and November that dated to Nov. 22, 2013.
And they can thank Embiid, the No. 3 pick of the 2014 draft who missed the last two seasons due to a broken foot but has returned as a leading Rookie of the Year candidate.
Paul George had 26 points and Monta Ellis added 19 for the Pacers.
After scoring nine points over a 2 ½-minute stretch late in regulation, Embiid put the Sixers in front for good with a three-point play with 55 seconds left in overtime that made it 107-105. The Pacers turned it over on their ensuing possession and Embiid then came up big again, corralling a loose ball after he missed a jumper and then making a pair of free throws with 8.6 seconds left to put Philadelphia up four.
The teams completed a home-and-home after the Pacers won 122-115 in overtime in Indiana on Wednesday night. Jeff Teague had 30 points and nine assists, and George had 28 points and eight rebounds on Wednesday.
Embiid didn’t play on Wednesday as part of the minutes restriction plan as he eases back into action.
The Sixers looked like they were going to lose yet another November game after blowing five-point lead with 25.4 seconds left in regulation.
Indiana used a 10-0 run over 2 ½ minutes of the fourth quarter to take a 90-84 lead. But Philadelphia answered with nine consecutive points to go up 93-90 with 3:20 left.
Teague responded with a 3-pointer that tied the game at 93 with 2:56 left before Embiid took over.
The 7-footer netted the next six points, the last of which was a follow dunk that brought loud cheers and gave Philadelphia a 99-95 lead with 1:14 left.
After George missed a jumper and Teague a 3-point attempt on the Pacers’ possession, Gerald Henderson grabbed a key rebound on Embiid’s miss with 30 seconds to play and T.J. McConnell made the second of two free throws with 25.4 ticks left to make it 100-95.
But the 76ers couldn’t hold on.
Ellis converted a three-point play with 22 seconds left. After Philadelphia coach Brett Brown then called timeout, Teague stripped Sergio Rodriguez to give the Pacers possession. George was fouled and made a pair of free throws to tie it at 100 with 2.8 seconds left.
Embiid’s game-winning attempt in regulation went long.
Pacers: George sprained his left thumb in the first quarter but returned in the second quarter. . G Rodney Stuckey (right hamstring strain) missed his seventh straight game.
76ers: A day after visiting the 76ers at practice, Hall of Famer Allen Iverson was in attendance. . Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles was seated in the first row under the basket. . Jahlil Okafor, who had offseason knee surgery, wasn’t scheduled to play on Friday night in order to rest for Saturday’s game at Atlanta. But Okafor was called into action in the first half and went scoreless in two minutes.