PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Dario Saric had 26 points and 14 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers won their eighth straight game despite losing All-Star Joel Embiid to a facial injury early in the second quarter, beating the New York Knicks 118-101 on Wednesday night.
J.J. Redick scored 21 points and Ben Simmons added 13 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for Philadelphia (44-30), which stayed a half-game behind Cleveland for third in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers, who already clinched their first playoff appearance since 2012, have the franchise’s most victories since the 2002-03 club won 48 games.
Embiid departed after a nasty collision with teammate Markelle Fultz. He was ruled out for the rest of the game with a facial contusion. The 76ers said he went through concussion protocol but did not have a concussion.
Philadelphia still had enough to beat New York (27-49), which lost for the fourth time in five games. Emmanuel Mudiay and Michael Beasley had 22 points apiece for the Knicks.
The 76ers stretched their four-point halftime advantage to 91-77 on Saric’s layup with 2:42 left in the third period. New York never threatened in the final quarter.
Fultz, the No. 1 overall pick in last June’s draft, played for the second straight game after sitting out for most of the season while recovering from a shoulder injury. The 19-year-old guard had three points, five rebounds and seven assists in 13 minutes against the Knicks.
But Fultz’s biggest blow came against his own teammate.
Fultz was driving toward the basket 20 seconds into the second when he appeared to accidentally head-butt Embiid. The 7-foot center immediately went to the floor. As a hush came over the sold-out crowd, he remained down for several minutes before he was helped off the court.
Fultz was not injured on the play.
Embiid finished with five points and three rebounds in eight minutes.
Knicks: F Kyle O’Quinn (hip) missed his third straight game. … G Courtney Lee (left foot) also was sidelined. … Enes Kanter recorded his 39th double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds. … Mudiay returned after missing Monday’s 137-128 overtime loss at Charlotte due to illness.
76ers: F Amir Johnson (flulike symptoms) and G Justin Anderson (ankle) sat out. … Coach Brett Brown spoke confidently prior to the game about the 76ers’ postseason chances. “There’s not one team in our Eastern Conference that I’m intimidated by,” he said. … The 76ers have won 19 of their last 20 at home. … Philadelphia swept the regular-season series, winning all four games.
Knicks: Host Detroit on Saturday night.
76ers: At Atlanta on Friday night.