Jimmy Butler poured in 38 points for the second consecutive game, and the Philadelphia 76ers overcame the absence of All-Star center Joel Embiid to rally past the host Detroit Pistons 117-111 on Friday.
Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons piled up 18 points, 14 rebounds and six assists while JJ Redick had 18 points and five assists. Mike Muscala added 18 points and three blocks off the bench for the Sixers, who won for the fifth time in six games.
Embiid was rested by Philadelphia coach Brett Brown after a lethargic performance Wednesday in a loss at Toronto.
Blake Griffin racked up 31 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to lead Detroit, which has lost three straight. Andre Drummond contributed 21 points and 10 rebounds, Reggie Jackson chipped in 13 points, and Langston Galloway tossed in 12 off the bench.
The Pistons played without three rotation players. Shooting guard Reggie Bullock missed his second consecutive game with a left ankle sprain. Backup guard Ish Smith tore an abductor muscle at Milwaukee on Wednesday. Forward Stanley Johnson was a late scratch due to a sore knee.
Detroit led by 15 two minutes into the second half, but the Sixers quickly erased the deficit. Philadelphia reeled off a 20-3 run to take a 78-76 lead. Butler had nine points during that stretch while Simmons contributed six points and three assists.
The Pistons were clinging to a 90-89 advantage after three quarters.
Detroit extended its lead to 98-92 with a Zaza Pachulia layup followed by a Pachulia steal and Luke Kennard layup.
The Sixers regained the lead at 101-100 with 6:22 left on a Redick 3-pointer. Simmons drove through the lane for a dunk a minute later to give Philadelphia a five-point lead. Muscala’s 3-pointer with 4:07 remaining finished a 16-2 outburst for a 108-100 lead.
Griffin had 19 first-half points as the Pistons jumped to a 68-56 lead. Drummond powered for 13 first-half points while Butler led Philadelphia with 12.
Detroit finished the half on a 16-6 run. Griffin was responsible for half of those points.
—Field Level Media