Ibaka strikes as NBA-best Raptors outlast Wizards
By Agence France-Presse
Serge Ibaka drained the go-ahead three-pointer with 15.2 seconds left in the second overtime Sunday to lift the Toronto Raptors to a 140-138 NBA victory over the Washington Wizards.
Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors with 41 points. That included 10 in overtime as Toronto finally put away the Wizards in a game in which the Raptors led by as many as 23.
The Raptors, who improved to an NBA-best 33-12, burst out of the gate and were up 51-28 late in the second quarter and by 17 with less than a minute to play in the third.
Washington chipped away, helped by Bradley Beal’s second triple-double of the season with 43 points, 10 assists and 15 rebounds.
Beal drained a three-pointer with 21.5 seconds left in regulation to knot the score at 124-124 and force overtime, and his bucket tied it up at 131-131 with 6.8 seconds left in the first extra period.
The Wizards took the lead for the first time in the second overtime period, when Toronto suddenly went cold, missing seven of nine from the field. A layup from Leonard, Ibaka’s three-pointer and a scattering of free-throws would be enough.
In New York, the Philadelphia 76ers welcomed Joel Embiid back with a hard-fought 108-105 victory over the host Knicks.
Embiid, sidelined from Friday’s loss to Atlanta with a sore ankle, scored 26 points in his return to the starting lineup, pulling down eight rebounds and blocking six shots.
Ben Simmons had a big game, connecting on 10 of 13 shots from the field on the way to 20 points, and grabbing a career high 22 rebounds as the Sixers dominated the Knicks 56-34 on the boards.
Australia’s Simmons, whose previous career-high for rebounds was 18, became the youngest 76er ever to post a 20-point, 20-rebound game.
“The numbers are dominant,” coach Brett Brown said of Simmons, who also handed out nine assists. “I thought he was fantastic.”
Philadelphia led by as many as 24 points, but the Knicks, propelled by a career-high 31 points from rookie Kevin Knox, sliced the lead to one point at the end of the third quarter.
They were two adrift with little more than three minutes remaining in regulation.
“It was great to get a win, especially after the past two games,” Brown said. “It was good to get back on track.”