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Embiid leads 76ers past Denver to stay perfect at home

Joel Embiid scored 22 points, including two key free throws with 15.3 seconds left, and Tobias Harris added 20 to keep the Philadelphia 76ers perfect at home with a 97-92 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.

Matisse Thybulle added 13 points for the Sixers, who are 13-0 in Philadelphia. They have won three straight and seven of eight.

Will Barton had 26 points to lead the Nuggets, who have lost three in a row and five of six. Leading scorer Jamal Murray was injured with 6:49 left in the first quarter when he collided with Ben Simmons and didn’t return.

Philadelphia 76ers' Tobias Harris (12) goes up for a dunk during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP PhotoMatt Slocum)

The Nuggets set a franchise record for largest fourth-quarter comeback when they rebounded from 19 points down to start the final period in a 100-97 win over Philadelphia in Denver on Nov. 8. They tried again, but couldn’t come all the way back this time.

The 76ers led by 10 early in the fourth after Josh Richardson’s deep 3-pointer from the top of the key made it 88-78 with 8:54 remaining. The Nuggets scored the next eight, capped by Barton’s three-point play with seven minutes left, to pull to 88-86.

But then Thybulle hit a pivotal 3 and grabbed a big offensive rebound on Philadelphia’s next possession, which ended with Al Horford’s jumper that put the 76ers in front 93-86 with 4:36 to play.

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, center, goes up for a shot between Denver Nuggets' Will Barton, left, and Nikola Jokic during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP PhotoMatt Slocum)

Denver had chances from that point on but went cold from the field, making just one field goal until Nikola Jokic’s runner made it 95-92 with 18.9 seconds left. Embiid then sank both free throws after being fouled for a five-point lead before Barton missed a 3 from the top of the key.

TIP-INS

Nuggets: Coach Michael Malone received a technical with 7:16 left in the first half. … Barton scored the first 13 Denver points. … Jokic had 15 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists. ... Murray went scoreless and left with what the team called a "trunk contusion."

Denver Nuggets' Monte Morris, bottom, goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers' Al Horford during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP PhotoMatt Slocum)

76ers: Philadelphia’s record for consecutive home wins to start a season is 22, set in the 1966-67 season. … Richardson returned to the lineup after missing six games with a right hamstring strain. He had three points. … Embiid ended the third quarter with a no-look, over-the-head shot from close range with 0.2 seconds left that put Philadelphia up 83-76 entering the fourth.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Host the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.

Philadelphia 76ers' Josh Richardson, center, goes up for a shot between Denver Nuggets' Malik Beasley, left, and Will Barton during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP PhotoMatt Slocum)

76ers: At the Boston Celtics on Thursday.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Philadelphia 76ers' Al Horford, right, dunks the ball past Denver Nuggets' Jerami Grant during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP PhotoMatt Slocum)

Philadelphia 76ers' Al Horford, right, reacts after a dunk past Denver Nuggets' Torrey Craig during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP PhotoMatt Slocum)

Denver Nuggets' Will Barton (5) goes up for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers' Al Horford (42) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP PhotoMatt Slocum)