LOS ANGELES (AFP, REUTERS) - The Cleveland Cavaliers posted their fourth win in five games with a 108-94 NBA victory on Wednesday (Feb 26) 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 2.13m Embiid grimaced as he missed both free-throw attempts. He did not stick around and went straight to the locker room.
He returned briefly to the bench in the second quarter before being taken out of the game for good at half-time. 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 last Saturday's 119-98 loss in Milwaukee. Simmons has a nerve problem in his lower back.
Earlier on Wednesday, the National Basketball Association fined Embiid US$25,000 (S$34,900) 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 another NBA game, D'Angelo Russell scored 27 points, and Jordan McLaughlin made the go-ahead lay-up with 8.5 seconds left, leading the supposedly overmatched Minnesota Timberwolves to a 129-126 upset win over the hosts Miami Heat.
Entering Wednesday, the Timberwolves had lost 18 of their past 19 games, and the Heat were sporting a 23-3 home record. But the Timberwolves used a 16-4 fourth-quarter spurt to get back into the game.
Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit in the first quarter to beat the hosts Phoenix Suns 102-92.
The Clippers won their second straight game following a three-game losing streak, with former Suns forward Marcus Morris Sr adding 18 points.
Los Angeles remained in third place in the Western Conference and improved to 6-0 when its line-up, including stars Leonard and Paul George, is fully healthy.
The Suns, who had won three of four before Wednesday, got 25 points and 17 rebounds from centre Deandre Ayton, and 18 points and 10 assists from Ricky Rubio. All-Star Devin Booker suffered through a 5-for-19 shooting night and scored just 14 points.
In San Antonio, Luka Doncic scored 26 points, dished out 14 assists and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks held off the San Antonio Spurs for a 109-103 win.
Kristaps Porzingis led Dallas with 28 points, while Tim Hardaway added 17 points and Dorian Finney-Smith tallied 14.
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.