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Westbrook, George spark as Thunder mute Jazz

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By Agence France-Presse

Paul George led the scoring with 31 points while Russell Westbrook bagged his sixth triple-double of the season on Monday as the Oklahoma City Thunder downed the Utah Jazz 122-113.

George made five three-pointers with three rebounds and three assists as the Thunder bounced back from their upset loss against the Chicago Bulls on Friday to improve to 17-8.

Former NBA MVP Westbrook’s triple included 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

George was assisted in the scoring meanwhile by New Zealand center Steven Adams, who finished with 22 points from 29 minutes on court.

Dennis Schroder had 23 points from the bench. Donovan Mitchell led the scoring for Utah with 19 points. The Jazz fell to 13-15 with the defeat.

In Philadelphia, Joel Embiid meanwhile set aside his recent indifferent form to score 24 points as the 76ers kept up the pressure on Eastern Conference leaders Toronto with a 116-102 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Cameroon big Embiid has reportedly grown increasingly frustrated with his form since the acquisition of Jimmy Butler, last week voicing unhappiness at his new positional role in the team following Butler’s arrival.

Against Detroit on Monday, Butler left the court with a groin strain towards the end of the first quarter to allow Embiid to carry the offensive load for the Sixers.

The 24-year-old had no difficulty imposing himself, adding eight rebounds and three assists in addition to his double-digit points tally.

Ben Simmons had 18 points along with Furkan Korkmaz, who had 18 points from the bench for Philadelphia. Simmons also had 10 rebounds to complete a double-double.

Small forward Luke Kennard led the scoring for Detroit with 28 points while Andre Drummond had 21 points.

The win saw the Sixers improve to 19-9 to hold onto the third place in the Eastern Conference, two games back from leaders Toronto.

Milwaukee are second with 18-8 after easing past the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-92 rout on Monday.

The Bucks were without star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scratched from the starting line-up after complaining of a sore neck.

With Antetokounmpo missing, Eric Bledsoe led the scoring with 20 points and 12 rebounds while Malcolm Brogdon had 18 points with five rebounds and five assists.