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Sixers pull out overtime victory in San Antonio, 113-111

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NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at San Antonio Spurs Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

A last second tip-in in overtime from Ben Simmons gave the Philadelphia 76ers the win over the San Antonio Spurs, 113-111. The Sixers improve to 43-21, good enough to hold a half-game lead over the Brooklyn Nets for 1st place in the Eastern Conference. The Spurs fall to 31-32, holding onto the final play-in spot in the Western Conference at 10th place.

The Spurs came into this game missing four starters, with DeMar Derozan, Derrick White, Dejounte Murray, and Jakob Poeltl all out. With the Sixers at full strength, this game had the makings of a blow out. However, San Antonio’s reserves made the Sixers work for the win, sending the game into overtime to decide the victor. Some sloppy play from both teams down the stretch left the game knotted at 111-111 for the game’s final possession. Joel Embiid got the call for Philly, taking a fadeaway jumper with about 2 seconds remaining. The shot bounced out, but a perfectly timed tip-in by Ben Simmons gave the Sixers the lead as time expired.

Joel Embiid finished with 34 points (13-23 FG, 1-3 3PT, 7-7 FT), 10 rebounds, and 1 assist while getting into some foul trouble in the first half. Ben Simmons had a modest line of 5 points (2-6 FG, 1-5 FT), 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Tobias Harris (3-10 FG) and Danny Green (4-12 FG) struggled from the floor, but Tobias Harris’ 5 assists somewhat made up for his down shooting night. Seth Curry picked up the scoring slack for starters not named Joel Embiid, dropping 22 points on 8 of 10 from the floor and a perfect 6 for 6 from 3PT, and added 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals.

Off the bench, Dwight Howard registered a double-double, notching 14 points (5-11 FG, 4-4 FT), 11 rebounds. 1 assist, and 3 blocks in 18 minutes. Matisse Thybulle scored just 5 points (2-5 FG, 1-3 3PT) but collected a steal and 2 blocks. Furkan Korkmaz struggled to find the bottom of the net, going 1 for 7 from the field, including 0 for 3 from 3PT.

The Sixers are back in action Monday evening against the Chicago Bulls for a back-to-back. That game will take place in Chicago at 7:00 pm ET. The Brooklyn Nets, jockeying for 1st place with Philly, are off until Tuesday, when they run it back against the Milwaukee Bucks after falling to the Bucks 117-114 Sunday night.