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Joel Embiid makes strong MVP case; James Harden dominant in his return to Houston

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While Embiid might not win Defensive Player of the Year – in fact, Sixers coach Doc Rivers said before the game that Embiid’s teammate, Ben Simmons, should be at the top of ballots for that award – games like Wednesday’s are why Embiid is one of the favorites to be the NBA’s Most Valuable Player this season, and the Sixers enter the All-Star break with the best record in the Eastern Conference. McConnell had nine steals in the first half, the most by any player in one half since the stat became official in 1973-74.

McConnell ended up with 10 steals for the game, one shy of the record, but had 16 points and 13 assists for a very unusual triple-double in Indiana’s 114-111 win. Michael Jordan previously held the record for the highest field goal percentage in a game with 10 or more steals with a 78% shooting performance in 1988.

Harrell’s big game can’t lift Lakersplay1:04Harrell furious after missing potential game-winning layup

Montrezl Harrell misses a putback layup for the Lakers with seconds remaining down by one to the Kings.

With center Marc Gasol out for the Lakers on Tuesday because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Montrezl Harrell – the league’s reigning Sixth Man of the Year – started a game for the first time since 2019 and had one of his worst outputs of the season: 6 points, 2 rebounds and just 19 minutes played.

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