T.J. Warren scored a career-high 53 points to lead the Indiana Pacers past the visiting Philadelphia 76ers 127-121 on Saturday near Orlando.
Aug 1, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; The Indiana Pacers kneel during the national anthem beore a NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Visa Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Warren was 20-of-29 from the field, including 9-of-12 from beyond the 3-point arc. Warren’s previous career-high was 40.
Aaron Holiday had 15 points and 10 assists and Victor Oladipo added 15 points for the Pacers, who improved to 40-26 despite playing without key injured players such as Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon.
Oladipo had missed the previous 52 games with knee and quad issues.
Joel Embiid was spectacular for the Sixers (39-27) with 41 points, 21 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. It was his fourth game this season with at least 30 points and 15 rebounds. Tobias Harris scored 30 points and Ben Simmons added 19 points and 13 rebounds.
The Pacers overcame an early eight-point deficit and raced to a 35-29 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Embiid kept the Sixers close with 15 points and nine rebounds as they trailed 61-55 at halftime. But Warren stayed red hot throughout the first half with 29 points on 12-of-16 shooting.
The Sixers committed 14 turnovers in the first half and looked disjointed as Embiid and Shake Milton engaged in a heated exchange on the sideline.
Embiid scored as the third quarter buzzer sounded and Philadelphia surged back ahead 87-81. Harris drove to the basket and scored for a 95-86 Sixers lead with 9:32 remaining. On their next possession, Alec Burks hit a 3-pointer for a 10-point advantage, 98-88.
Warren hit a layup and then a trey to close Indiana within 100-95 with 7:42 left. Following a Sixers turnover, Warren scored in the paint to cut the lead to 100-97.
When Justin Holiday dropped in a 3-pointer with 6:00 left, the Pacers went back ahead 102-101.
Warren knocked down his seventh trey and Oladipo followed with a jumper for a 115-108 Pacers advantage with 3:28 to go.
Embiid converted a deep trey to close within 121-116.
But Warren’s eighth trey gave him 50 points and a 124-116 lead with 1:04 remaining.
The last Indiana player with at least 50 points was Jermaine O’Neal in 2005.
—Field Level Media