Cavaliers sink 76ers as Embiid hurts shoulder

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, center, squeezes between Cleveland Cavaliers' Ante Zizic, left and Matthew Dellavedova in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday in Cleveland.

LOS ANGELES — The Cleveland Cavaliers posted their fourth win in five games with a 108-94 victory on Wednesday over the Philadelphia 76ers, who lost all-star Joel Embiid to an injury.

Collin Sexton scored 28 points, Larry Nance collected 13 points and a season-high 15 rebounds, and Tristan Thompson had 14 in the win.

Embiid suffered a left shoulder sprain after colliding with Cleveland centre Ante Zizic with 49 seconds left in the opening quarter.

Still smarting from the collision, the seven-foot Embiid grimaced as he missed both free throw attempts. He did not stick around and went straight to the locker room.

Embiid briefly returned to the bench in the second quarter before being taken out of the game for good at halftime. He is expected to be examined by team doctors on Thursday to determine the extent of the problem.

Sixers coach Brett Brown said he was "unsure" whether Embiid would play in Thursday's home game against the New York Knicks.

"I'm really sort of a prisoner to the medical people's information," Brown said. "I haven't checked in. I'm unsure, I really am unsure."

Embiid's injury is the latest for Philadelphia, who are without Ben Simmons after the all-star guard was injured during Saturday's 119-98 loss in Milwaukee. Simmons has a nerve problem in his lower back.

Earlier on Wednesday, the NBA fined Embiid $25,000 for making an obscene gesture on the court and using profanity during a TV interview.

Those incidents took place during Philadelphia's 129-112 win over Atlanta on Monday, a game in which Embiid scored a career-high 49 points.

Shake Milton scored 20 points and Furkan Korkmaz added 14 for the 76ers, who have dropped seven consecutive on the road.

Kevin Love sank a three-pointer to extend Cleveland's lead to 70-50 midway into the third quarter. But the Sixers quickly answered with 11 straight points.

Milton and Al Horford made baskets from beyond the arc to cut the Cavaliers' lead to 85-80 with just over nine minutes left in the game.

In San Antonio, Luka Doncic scored 26 points, dished out 14 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks hold off the San Antonio Spurs for a 109-103 win.

Kristaps Porzingis led Dallas with 28 points. Tim Hardaway added 17 points and Dorian Finney-Smith tallied 14 for the Mavericks.

DeMar DeRozan led San Antonio with 27 points.

Elsewhere, Bradley Beal scored 30 points and combined with Jerome Robinson for the go-ahead three-pointer with nine seconds remaining as the Washington Wizards pulled out a 110-106 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Also, Russell Westbrook and James Harden connected for 63 points, allowing the Houston Rockets to stretch their winning streak to five games with a 140-112 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

James won't face struggling

Warriors due to groin injury

LeBron James will skip Thursday's game against the last place Golden State Warriors because of a groin injury, the Los Angeles Lakers announced on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the team made the announcement in a news release on their Twitter social media page. There were no details on the extent of the injury.

"LeBron James (sore groin) is out for tomorrow's game at Golden State. Anthony Davis (sore left elbow) is probable," the team said.

James did not mention the injury on Tuesday night after scoring a season-high 40 points to lead the Lakers to a 118-109 win over New Orleans. James played 34 minutes against the Pelicans which is right at his 34.9 season average.

Los Angeles is hoping it can win without James and Davis over the hapless Warriors, who have won just 12 games all season and have the poorest record in the NBA.

The Lakers are a worse team without James. When he missed 27 games after straining his groin in December 2018, the Lakers season spiralled downhill and they failed to make the playoffs.

The Warriors, who are without Stephen Curry (fractured left hand) and Klay Thompson (torn left anterior cruciate ligament), have lost seven straight.

NBA suspends Charlotte's

Monk indefinitely for drug violation

Charlotte Hornets guard Malik Monk was suspended indefinitely without pay by the NBA on Wednesday for a violation of the league and players' union's anti-drug program.

The 22-year-old American, the 11th pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, will miss Wednesday's Hornets game against New York and will not be reinstated until he returns to compliance with the rules.

In 55 games this season for Charlotte, his third campaign with the club and in the NBA, Monk has averaged career bests of 10.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists a game.

His loss is a setback for a Hornets squad struggling to reach the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

At 19-38, the Hornets are 11th in the East, six games behind Orlando for the final playoff spot.

The team has not reached the NBA playoffs since a first-round ouster by Miami in 2016 and has not won a playoff series since 2002. — AFP