PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia's winning streak became a secondary issue after Joel Embiid went down in the second quarter.
Dario Saric scored 26 points and 14 rebounds and the 76ers earned their eighth win in a row, despite helping Embiid have a facial injury and defeating the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
JJ Redick scored 21 points and Ben Simmons added 13 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for Philadelphia (44-30), who stayed half a game behind Cleveland for third place in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers, who celebrated their first playoff appearance since 2012, have won the most wins since 2002-03 Club 48.
Embiid was hospitalized following a nasty collision with teammate Markelle Fultz for a precautionary test. The team said the All-Star Center has a facial contraction but no concussion
"I was scared," Saric said of his response to Embiid. "I hope he will be fine and he will be ready."
Embiid scored an average of 22.9 points and 11 rebounds per game
Philadelphia still had enough to beat New York (27-49), who lost for the fourth time in five games. Emmanuel Mudiay and Michael Beasley each had 22 points for the Knicks.
"You have to play well to win on the street," said Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek. "We played well in parts."
The 76ers extended their four-point halftime advantage to 91:77 on Saric's layup with 2:42 in the third. New York has never threatened in the last quarter, largely thanks to Saric, who increased his game in Embiid's absence.
"He's such a big part of this team," Brown said. "He loves basketball, he's a great team-mate, he's on the rise."
Fultz, the No. 1 in last June's draft, played for the second straight game after sitting for much of the season during recovery from a shoulder injury. The 19-year-old guard had three points in 13 minutes, five rebounds and seven assists against the Knicks.
But Fultz's biggest blow came against his own teammate.
Fultz hit the basket 20 seconds after the goal when he accidentally hit Embiid's head. The 7-footer immediately fell to the ground. When the crowd was sold out, he stopped for a few minutes before being supported by the court.
Fultz was not injured in this game.
"I know, I beat him, but I think he's okay," said Fultz. He is a tough guy. I can only pray for him.
Embiid finished five points and three rebounds in eight minutes.