PHILADELPHIA – Josh Richardson scored 29 points, Ben Simmons had 19 and the Philadelphia 76ers won without injured center Joel Embiid, beating the Boston Celtics 109-98 on Thursday night.
Embiid will have surgery Friday for a torn ligament in a finger in his left hand and will be evaluated in one to two weeks. Embiid, averaging 23.4 points and 12.3 rebounds in 31 games this season, tore the radial collateral ligament in the ring finger Monday night in a victory over Oklahoma City.
Mike Scott slid into the starting rotation, along with Al Horford, Tobias Harris, Richardson and Simmons. Simmons played center at times and drew a charge on Enes Kanter with 1:45 left in the first quarter.
The Celtics had their own injury scare when Kemba Walker, ejected for the first time in his nine-year NBA career a night earlier, sprained his left thumb. Walker ran into Mike Scott and instantly clutched his hand late in the second quarter. Walker, who scored 26 points on 10-for-20 shooting, tried to shake it off but left for the locker room shortly before the Celtics took a 55-48 lead into halftime.
CAVALIERS 115, PISTONS 112, OT
DETROIT – Kevin Love made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 37.9 seconds left in overtime and Cleveland snapped a five-game losing streak.
On a tumultuous day for the Cleveland organization, the Cavaliers rallied from a 13-point third-quarter deficit and outlasted Detroit at the end. Tristan Thompson had 35 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
Cleveland coach John Beilein said earlier Thursday that he'd apologized for his comments during a film session the previous day. ESPN.com, citing unidentified sources, reported that Beilein suggested during a Wednesday film session his players were no longer playing “like a bunch of thugs.” Beilein said he meant to say “slugs” in reference to the team's effort level.
Andre Drummond had 28 points and 23 rebounds for Detroit. The Pistons are without star forward Blake Griffin, who had surgery on his left knee.