Joel Embiid scored 40 points, but that wasn’t enough to keep the Philadelphia 76ers from falling to 0-3 at the start of the new NBA season after a 114-105 home defeat to the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.
James Harden had minimal impact in the second half as Spurs small forward Doug McDermott took control with an eight-point flurry, closing his 14 points, all of which came in the second half.
The 76ers, who had been beaten by contenders, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, to open their season, wasted Embiid’s huge game where he shot 14 of 25 from the field and hit 13 rebounds with two blocks.
Harden only added 12 points out of four shots out of 18, making one in six three-point attempts. The former MVP provided 12 assists with nine rebounds and two blocks, but was inconspicuous in the second half with the match up for grabs, with the Spurs defense denying him looking good.
Tyrese Maxey contributed 25 points for the 76ers, including three triples, but Philadelphia fell to their first 0-3 since 2016-17.
Devin Vassell (22 points with nine of 14 shots on the field, including four three-pointers) and Keldon Johnson (21 points with eight rebounds) were San Antonio’s most productive attacking players.
Mitchell improves LeBron’s start for the Cavs
Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points when he scored his first win as a Cleveland Cavaliers player in a 128-96 win over the Chicago Bulls in the home opener of the season.
Mitchell achieved a feat not even LeBron James could, becoming the first Cavs player with consecutive 30-point games to open a season.
The All-Star, who made a high-profile trade from the Utah Jazz to the Cavs in the off-season, scored four out of six from over the arc with nine rebounds and eight assists.
Zach LaVine is back after off-season knee surgery that forced him to miss the first two games in Chicago to get the highest score for the Bulls with 23 points.
Giannis makes Bucks overtake the Rockets
It took Giannis Antetokounmpo just 28 minutes to perform as an MVP as the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Houston Rockets 125-105 in their first home at the Fiserv Forum.
Antetokounmpo scored 44 points, shooting 17 of 21 from the field with two triples, along with 12 rebounds and three assists.
The Greek forward became Milwaukee’s all-time free-throw leader, shooting eight for 13 from the streak to break Sidney Moncrief’s record of 3,505, before jumping to 8:08 from the end of the fourth quarter.
Jayson Tatum also scored 40 points leading the Boston Celtics 3-0 over 0-3 Orlando Magic 126-120, while Paul George scored 40 in the Los Angeles Clippers 111-109 win over the Sacramento Kings.