Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons lead Sixers past Hornets; Celtics’ Hayward returns to Utah



The NBA has a seven-game slate on Friday night that features a very intriguing matchup.Gordon Hayward makes his first trip to Utah since he left the franchise to sign a four-year deal with the Boston Celtics last offseason.To make the game even more interesting, Celtics star guard Kyrie Irving didn’t suit up as he attends his grandfather’s funeral.The Celtics are fresh off a 116-109 overtime comeback win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.In other action, Joel Embiid and Bens Simmons led the Philadelphia 76ers to an overtime win over the Charlotte Hornets in an Eastern Conference tilt.Kemba Walker was brilliant with 30 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, but the Sixers’ dynamic duo proved to be just a bit too much for Charlotte.The night wraps up with the Minnesota Timberwolves facing off with the Sacramento Kings.Jimmy Butler takes the court for Minnesota after scoring 24 points in a hefty 42 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.From the Kings’ side of things, sharpshooting guard Buddy Hield continues to be a force and is averaging 23.6points per contest over the past five games.Here are the scores, highlights and updates for Friday night.Trust the process, indeed.Joel Embiid was unstoppable on Friday against the Hornets, putting up a season-high 42 points while pulling down 18 rebounds and blocking four shots.Ben Simmons was no slouch himself, filling up the stat sheet with 22 points, 13 assists, eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals.Simmons also blocked Kemba Walker’s 3-point attempt toward the end of overtime that could have tied the game.Jazz fans apparently have not forgiven Hayward for his departure from Utah.As starting lineups were announced prior to the start of the Jazz’s game versus the Celtics, Utah fans were very vocal regarding how they felt about Hayward’s return to Salt Lake for the first time since signing with Boston last year.Say what you want about the Wizards, but man, this was one heck of a layup by John Wall.Hey, whatever gets the job done.Markelle Fultz pulled off one of the niftier assists of the night by nutmegging a Hornets defender as Ben Simmons slam dunked it.You better believe Malik Monk won’t hear the end of this.Check out this swat by Joel Embiid on the young Hornets guard.Andre Drummond has no mercy on rookie point guards.Check out this absolute swat by the big man on Trae Young.The Celtics will start Scary Terry again.As Boston prepares for a big back-to-back road matchup versus the Jazz, Terry Rozier will start in place of Kyrie Irving, who is missing the game due to personal reasons.T.J.McConnell might as well be the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.Check out the point guard’s full-court pass to Ben Simmons as Simmons finishes off the sequence with an impactful dunk versus the Hornets.If it wasn’t for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Wizards would be the joke of the league.At 2-8, they have the third-worst record in the NBA.They rank dead-last in the league in defense, allowing 120.5points per game.And somehow, they’ve managed to top off all of that by failing to inbound the ball properly.

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