EditorsNote: Slight tweaks in grafs 4, 7, 8, 9
The Philadelphia 76ers overcame both the absence of suspended center Joel Embiid and the hot-shooting Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night and remained the only unbeaten team in the NBA.
Furkan Korkmaz hit a 3-pointer from the right side with 0.4 seconds left to lift the 76ers to a 129-128 road victory, their fifth win this season.
Damian Lillard of the Blazers missed a long 3 at the buzzer.
A 3-pointer by second-year guard Anfernee Simons with 2.6 seconds remaining erased a 126-125 Philadelphia lead, but it wasn’t enough for the Blazers, who fell to 0-2 at home.
The Blazers led by 21 points midway through the third quarter, only to have Philadelphia close to within three points three times early in the fourth quarter and twice down the stretch.
An Al Horford driving dunk then cut the gap to 125-124 with 50.2 seconds remaining.
After CJ McCollum missed a three for Portland, Philadelphia got the rebound and called a timeout with 14.8 seconds left. The 76ers went inside and drew a foul with 10.1 seconds remaining. Ben Simmons, who entered the game shooting just 44.4 percent from the line, made two free throws for the Sixers’ first lead of the game at 126-125.
Lillard scored a game-high 33 points on 11-for-17 shooting (8-for-11 from 3-point range), and small forward Rodney Hood had 25 on 9-of-11 shooting (4-for-6 from deep) to lead the Blazers. Hood was helped to the locker room late in the game after a collision with Simmons.
Portland shot 57.7 percent from the field and made a season-high 55.9 percent (19 of 34) from 3-point range.
Each team was without its usual starting center. Embiid began a two-game suspension for his role in a scuffle with Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns earlier in the week, and Hassan Whiteside of Portland — the offseason replacement while Jusuf Nurkic heals from a broken leg — sat out with a sore left knee.
Philadelphia had to adjust its preferred smashmouth style of play, though the Sixers still relied heavily on points in the paint. Horford started at center and scored a team-high 25 points. Power forward Tobias Harris added 23 points.
The Blazers opened with 6-foot-8 Anthony Tolliver in the middle alongside 6-8 Mario Hezonja at power forward.
Portland’s next game is Monday night at Golden State.
Philadelphia will play the second of four straight road games on Monday at Phoenix.
—Field Level Media