Joel Embiid scored 36 points, including the decisive two free throws with 5.3 seconds left, and the visiting Philadelphia 76ers held off the Atlanta Hawks 105-103 on Monday.
Embiid showed no ill effects of the right ankle sprain that forced him to miss the last game. He shot 12-for-19 from the field, including 2-for-6 on 3-point tries, and 10-for-10 from the foul line. He added 13 rebounds, five assists and three steals to help the Sixers improve to 3-0.
After Embiid’s late foul shots broke a tie, Atlanta had a chance to win the game. However, Vince Carter’s 3-point attempt hit the back rim and bounced high and away as the buzzer sounded.
Josh Richardson scored 14 and Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons each scored 13 for Philadelphia.
Atlanta was led by Trae Young with 25 points, but only six of those came in the second half. Young also had a game-high nine assists. John Collins had 16 points before fouling out in the final minute, and De’Andre Hunter scored 14.
The Sixers took a 101-100 lead on a pair of Al Horford free throws with two minutes left and extended it to 103-100 when Harris rolled in a right-hander with 42.1 seconds to go.
Young subsequently made one free throw and missed the second, but Collins grabbed the rebound and slammed home the game-tying basket with 7.4 seconds remaining.
In a high-scoring first quarter, Atlanta grabbed a 40-31 edge and hung on to lead 65-63 at the half. Young, who was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week after averaging 38.5 points and nine rebounds in the first two games, scored 19 in the first half.
The game was contentious. Embiid received a technical foul for taunting, and Young got a T for complaining too vigorously. Philadelphia reserve Mike Scott, who played five seasons for the Hawks, was ejected with 1:36 left the second quarter for a flagrant-2 foul on Damian Jones.
The Sixers lost reserve Shake Milton with a hyperextended left knee in the third quarter. He scored nine points in 12:32 before getting injured.
The Hawks go on the road to play the Miami Heat on Tuesday in the second half of a back-to-back. The Sixers host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.
—Field Level Media