Joel Embiid Ejected on Comments by Matisse Thybulle, Trade to Portland Trail Blazers, Michael Porter Jr. and Zach Collins, video

Joel Embiid scored 39 points and hit an excellent game-winning jump shot with less than two seconds left as the Philadelphia 76ers completed a dramatic 120-119 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Sixers appeared headed for defeat after trailing by 21 points in the second quarter and was 13 points down in the final quarter with less than six minutes to go.

But Embiid and James Harden led a late rally to get the Sixers back in contention, shutting down Portland’s offense while merging a run to make it a one-point game with 38 seconds remaining.

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And as the clock ran out, Embiid turned away from the Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic to dump a fadeaway jumper to give the Sixers a 120-119 lead, the first time Philadelphia had led during the game.

Embiid’s 39 points came on 13-of-20 shooting and was the latest in a string of stunning performances from the Cameroonian star.

It was also Matisse Thybulle’s first game against his former team since moving to Portland, and the American-born Boomers star had plenty to say ahead of the game.

“Any player who plays out of fear will fight,” he said The Philadelphia investigator.

“Like everything you try to do is just friction. But if you play for a place of just discipline and receptivity to what the game gives and what you read from it. I think there are many more possibilities.

“And for me specifically, I feel like there was a lot more of a fear-based game played in Philadelphia than here in Portland.”

Thybulle also previously said it was good to “feel and know” that he was “wanted and needed” in Portland.

However, some of those comments didn’t seem to go down well with Embiid.

Joel Embiid made his feelings known. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)Source: AFP

“I loved him when he was here,” Embiid said on Saturday.

“I kind of told him I’m kind of not happy with some of the comments that have been made lately, but it’s whatever.

“Playing in Philly is not easy. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with that. Every year you are expected to win. It doesn’t matter if they think you have a good team or a team good enough to win a championship. That’s the expectation and that’s why there aren’t many people who can play here and survive here.

“…I wish him all the best. I still think he has a lot of potential and it’s just that he puts in the work and especially in shooting and defence, he’s a monster.”

Since the beginning of March, Embiid has averaged nearly 37 points per game with tallys of 39, 39, 42, 31 and 35 in his last five appearances.

Embiid was assisted by James Harden with 19 points, while Tyrese Maxey and De’Anthony Melton each had 13 points.

Georges Niang added 12 points from the bench for the Sixers, who trailed 71-56 after a sluggish first half.

“We just didn’t get going,” said Sixers coach Doc Rivers.

“We looked like we were in the mud at both ends in the first half.

“It’s one hell of a win for us because we didn’t have much – and it showed. But we just stuck it out long enough and found a way.”

It was the third time this season the Sixers, who are third in the Eastern Conference with a 44-22 record, came back from a 20-point deficit to win.

Portland, meanwhile, had to think about a win, which ultimately slipped away after a superb shooting performance from Anfernee Simons, who finished with 34 points on 13 of 22 shots, including eight three-pointers.

Jerami Grant added 24 points and Damian Lillard had 22.

Giannis secures his triple-double | 00:47


Elsewhere, the leading Western Conference Denver Nuggets suffered a second straight loss in a 128-120 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in Texas.

The Nuggets, beaten 117-96 by weak Chicago on Wednesday, appeared to have put that loss behind them after beating the Spurs 38-26 in the first quarter.

But San Antonio roared back with 42 points in the second quarter, beating Denver 60-53 in the second half to seal a surprise win.

Keldon Johnson led Spurs’ scoring charts with 23 points, while six other San Antonio players were in double figures.

Denver’s reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic hit a 37-point triple-double — his 26th this season.

Frustrations later boiled over when Spurs center Zach Collins and Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr were thrown out of the game after colliding in a fiery melee.

It came after Porter Jr. threw a dunk at Collins.

Nikola Jokic had another triple-double. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“I think it was pretty clear what happened. He was immersed. My back was to him, you know what I mean? Man, get in my face,” Porter said, per Altitude TV’s Vic Lombardi.

“They said I put my hand on his neck. But that’s a natural reaction. He’s lucky he didn’t get hit in my face like that. That’s a split-second response,” Porter added.

Despite the loss, Denver remains firmly on course to be seeded top in the Western Conference playoffs and leads second-placed Sacramento with a six-game 46-21 record.

In Miami, Jimmy Butler led a fourth-quarter rally to help the Heat to a 119-115 win over Cleveland, despite a 42-point performance from the Cavaliers’ Donovan Mitchell.

Miami outplayed the Cavs 37-26 in the final frame, with Butler scoring 12 points as part of a 33-point display to get the Heat over the line.

Elsewhere, Brooklyn defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-123 in overtime while the Atlanta Hawks earned a 114-107 away win over the Washington Wizards. Joel Embiid Ejected on Comments by Matisse Thybulle, Trade to Portland Trail Blazers, Michael Porter Jr. and Zach Collins, video

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