Joel Embiid scored 34 points as the Philadelphia 76ers recorded a third successive win with a 110-102 victory against the Brooklyn Nets in New York.
Tyrese Maxey added 25 points and Seth Curry made 17 for the 76ers, led by assistant Dan Burke in the absence of head coach Doc Rivers because of Covid.
Kevin Durant responded with 33 points for the Nets as he made his return after missing three games.
It was a second defeat in eight games for the Eastern Conference leaders.
Nets’ James Harden produced his second triple-double in three games since returning from the NBA’s health and safety protocol as he ran up 33 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.
Elsewhere, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points and 12 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Orlando Magic 136-118.
Jrue Holiday contributed 25 points and Khris Middleton added 22 to extend the Bucks’ winning streak to five games and Orlando’s losing run to five.
Bradley Beal made 29 points on his return to action as the Washington Wizards recorded a 110-93 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also returned and added 12 points while Anthony Gill scored eight and in reply Kevin Love notched 24 points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland.
Thursday’s game between Western Conference leaders Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets was postponed because the Nuggets could not field the eight players required because of Covid cases and injuries.
Despite an 11th postponement of the campaign, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he saw no reason to pause the season.
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