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Joel Embiid leads 76ers to 7th consecutive victory over Pistons in NBA matchup

DETROIT — Joel Embiid showcased an exceptional performance, earning 33 points and 16 rebounds as Philadelphia 76ers maintained their winning streak and defeated Detroit Pistons 114-106 in the NBA In-Season Tournament opener.

Tyrese Maxey also made a noteworthy contribution with 29 points, 10 assists, and zero turnovers, while former Piston Tobias Harris scored 24 points, leading the 76ers to their seventh straight win.

“We can’t be a one-man team or a two-man team – we need to get production from Tobias, (De’Anthony) Melton and Kelly (Oubre, Jr.),” 76ers coach Nick Nurse said. “We know there are times when teams are going to have to put two guys on Joel or two guys on Tyrese, and we’ve got to be able to take advantage of those situations.”

Killian Hayes and Cade Cunningham scored 23 and 21 points, respectively, for the Pistons. Jalen Duren, on the other hand, had to exit the game due to an ankle injury.

“Anytime a guy can’t finish the game, it is a concern,” Pistons coach Monty Williams said. “But we can’t use injuries as an excuse.”

Detroit allowed 41 free-throw attempts, including 19 for Embiid.

“Joel is tough enough to guard — when he’s waving his arms around and hitting people, that’s not a shot,” Williams said. “That’s not what beat us, though. We just made too many big mistakes.”

The 76ers faced an injury scare in the third quarter when Cunningham slid into Embiid’s legs. However, Embiid returned after a brief timeout.

Patrick Beverly missed the second half with neck soreness, and Nurse was uncertain if it would affect his future games.

Philadelphia outscored the Pistons 35-21 in the third quarter after trailing 71-68 late in the period. They pushed the lead to 11 at the beginning of the fourth and ended the game with a 17-point lead.

“I thought they played the same defense in the second as they did in the third, but they were a little more physical,” Williams said. “We backed off a little — we were trying to run our stuff from halfcourt and that got us into a lot of late-clock situations.”

The Pistons had a strong start, leading by 12 in the second quarter and ending the first period with a 33-21 lead. Despite this, the 76ers managed to turn it around, and Nurse recognized the team’s improvements during the second half.

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76ers: Host Indiana on Monday night.

Pistons: At Chicago on Monday night.