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Maxey scores 42 points, short-handed 76ers outlast Rockets

Tyrese Maxey Philadelphia 76ers Tyrese Maxey - The Canadian Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Tyrese Maxey had 42 points and the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers outlasted the Houston Rockets 131-127 on Friday night.

“That was a good level of aggressiveness for him tonight,” 76ers coach Nick Nurse said. “I thought he was really great with his jets on tonight.”

Philadelphia superstar Joel Embiid was out for a third consecutive game with a sprained right ankle and will miss at least one more game with the 76ers ruling him out Saturday night at Chicago. Nicolas Batum sat out for a fifth game with a strained right hamstring.

Tobias Harris added 22 points for the 76ers. They won for the fourth time in five games and sent Houston to its third straight loss.

It was the fourth straight game with at least 20 points for Harris.

“He’s been so much more in control,” Nurse said. “He’s been so much more decisive. He was attacking aggressively. That to me is he’s just feeling really good about his game. He’s just confident right now. I love it.”

Fred VanVleet had 33 points and 10 rebounds for Houston. Jalen Green added 31 points and Alperen Sengun had 28 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

“We did our best, but on the offense, these things happen,” Sengun said. “We just couldn’t finish good at the end of the game.”

De’Anthony Melton put Philadelphia on top with a driving layup before Marcus Morris made a 3-pointer and a free throw after being fouled by VanVleet to extend the lead to 127-122 with about 30 seconds left.

Green hit a 3 for Houston to get the Rockets within two with 25 seconds left. Houston intentionally fouled Melton and he made 1 of 2 free throws to extend the lead to three.

A layup by Green cut the lead it to one with 17 seconds remaining. Houston intentionally fouled Melton again, but this time he made both free throws to make it 130-127.

Green had a chance to attempt a 3 on the other end, but instead passed inside to Jock Landale, who missed a layup and Morris made a free throw to secure the victory.

“We just made some big shots down the stretch,” Nurse said.

The Rockets were without Dillon Brooks, who missed a second straight game with an oblique injury, and Jabari Smith Jr., out with a sprained left ankle.


76ers: At Chicago on Saturday night.

Rockets: Host Detroit on Monday night.