The Philadelphia 76ers set aside their pre-match disappointment of losing star Ben Simmons to beat the Houston Rockets 118-113 on Wednesday.
According to coach Doc Rivers, the in-form Australian wasn’t able to take the court because of a stomach flu.
But the Sixers thankfully had their other big-name star Joel Embiid back after missing the previous encounter against the Utah Jazz with a back injury.
Embiid had 31 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists and hit a key jumper late to secure the win.
Seth Curry scored 25 points and Tobias Harris added 24 for the Eastern Conference-leading 76ers, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
John Wall scored 28 points for the short-handed Rockets.
Houston, playing without injured starters P.J. Tucker and Victor Oladipo, have lost seven in a row. DeMarcus Cousins and Jae’Sean Tate had 19 points each and Eric Gordon contributed 17.
The 76ers led by 29 points in the second half and looked on their way to an easy victory when Tyrese Maxey’s two free throws made it 100-82 with 10:07 to play. But Philadelphia relaxed enough to let Houston slowly back into the contest.
Gordon’s 3-pointer with 3:54 remaining cut the margin under double-digits for the first time since early in the second quarter, pulling the Rockets within 108-99. Then, Wall scored eight straight points, the last two on a pair of free throws with 1:28 left, to make it 110-107.
Embiid answered with a baseline, 12-foot jump shot and the 76ers made enough free throws in the final minute to hold on.
In Boston, Trae Young had 40 points and eight assists as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Celtics 122-114 to snap a four-game losing streak.
The Orlando Magic were also victorious thanks to Terrence Ross scoring 18 of his season-high 30 points in the second half in a 107-89 win over the New York Knicks.
Bradley Beal made two free throws with a 10th of a second left in Washington to give the Wizards their third straight victory – a 130-128 win over the Denver Nuggets.
Zach LaVine scored 37 points as the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 105-102 on short notice.
The Bulls were scheduled to visit Charlotte, with the Pistons at Dallas but those games got called off by the NBA because of COVID-19 contact-tracing concerns.
The Bulls and Pistons were then scheduled to play each other, instead.
Jerami Grant scored a career-high 43 points for the Pistons.
Domantas Sabonis had 36 points, 17 rebounds and 10 rebounds, Malcolm Brogdon added 32 points and nine rebounds as Indiana beat Minnesota 134-128 in overtime.