PHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid had 39 points and 13 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers beat Brooklyn 123-117 on Wednesday night in an anticipated matchup that fizzled with the Nets missing their biggest stars.

The Sixers (38-17) moved into first place in the Eastern Conference in a game played without James Harden, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge. With the Nets standouts hurt or just rested, the game had more of a preseason feel than a possible preview of the conference final this summer.

No matter, the Sixers moved back atop the standings and have the No. 1 seed in sight with just 17 games left this season.

“It clearly would be nice to have,” Sixers Coach Doc Rivers said. “It makes sense to try and have as many home games as possible.”

With good reason – the Sixers improved to 21-5 at home.

“I think they’re comfortable at home,” Rivers said. “Young teams typically are comfortable at home. I guess the surprise this year is (the record) without the fans. I certainly can understand with the fans.”

The Sixers had 4,094 fans spread around the arena to watch Embiid have another stellar outing against the undermanned Nets. He scored 21 points by halftime, his 14th 20-point 1st half this season (most in NBA).

Kyrie Irving scored 23 points in the first half – his eighth 20-point first half of the season – and finished with 37 points. Irving missed Tuesday’s game against Minnesota for personal reasons.

CAVALIERS 103, HORNETS 90: Taurean Prince scored a season-high 25 points with six 3-pointers, Jarrett Allen had 15 points and eight rebounds in his first action since March 26 and Cleveland handed Charlotte its their third straight loss at home.

Kevin Love added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who snapped a two-game skid.

Terry Rozier had 22 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to lead the Hornets. Miles Bridges added 20 points.

It was Allen’s first action since suffering a concussion against the Los Angeles Lakers, forcing him to miss eight games. He opened strong with two dunks on Cleveland’s first three possessions and had four for the game.

CLIPPERS 100, PISTONS 98: Reggie Jackson hit a jumper with 2.3 seconds left against his former team, giving visiting Los Angeles its seventh straight victory.

The Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter despite playing without several key players. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Serge Ibaka, Patrick Beverley and Marcus Morris were all out for Los Angeles.

BUCKS 130, TIMBERWOLVES 105: Khris Middleton had 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in three quarters, as visiting Milwaukee topped Minnesota.

Brook Lopez added 18 points and eight rebounds, Jrue Holiday pitched in 15 points and three steals, and the Bucks built a lead as big as 30 points early in the fourth quarter on the way to their second consecutive blowout. The Bucks beat Orlando 124-87 on Sunday.

Anthony Edwards scored 24 points on 5-for-11 shooting from 3-point range for the Timberwolves, who have lost 11 of 15.

RAPTORS 117, SPURS 112: OG Anunoby scored 22 points, Pascal Siakam had 20 points and 11 rebounds and short-handed Toronto beat visiting San Antonio.

Raptors rookie Malachi Flynn had a big fourth quarter, scoring eight of his 16 points in the quarter and finishing with seven assists.

Derrick White led San Antonio with 25 points, and Patty Mills added 23.

KNICKS 116, PELICANS 106: Julius Randle scored 32 points against his former team and visiting New York clamped down defensively on Zion Williamson.

Alec Burks scored New York’s first 11 points of the fourth quarter, added a crushing 3 and finished with 21 points for the Knicks, who’ve won four straight for the first time this season.

Williamson, who came in having scored at least 30 points in three straight, mustered 25 points against a Knicks defense that packed the paint to stop him. But he scored just four points during the final 19 minutes – two of those on free throws.

Brandon Ingram scored 28 for New Orleans, which saw its three-game winning streak snapped against a Knicks squad that looks vastly improved and increasingly relevant in Coach Tom Thibodeau’s first season.

Having won 5 of 7, the Knicks (29-27) are currently in the Eastern Conference playoff picture – within a couple games of a top-four seed – with 16 contests left in the regular season.

MAGIC 115, BULLS 106: James Ennis scored 22 points, Wendell Carter Jr. added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and visiting Orlando snapped a six-game losing streak despite big performances by Chicago’s Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic.

The Magic outscored Chicago by 20 in the third quarter to turn a one-point lead into a 93-72 advantage and hung on after Chicago cut it to 104-98. Carter scored on a tip-in and Michael Carter-Williams dunked to make it a 10-point game with 3:12 remaining.

LaVine scored 30. Vucevic had 29 points and 11 rebounds in his first game against the Magic since they dealt the two-time All-Star to Chicago at the deadline. But the Bulls fell to 3-8 since the trade.

Comments are not available on this story.