NBA: Joel Embiid hits game-winner, 76ers edge Jazz

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Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers walks to the bench against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the fourth quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on January 12, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Thunder defeated the 76ers 133-114. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images/AFP

Joel Embiid hit a game-winning shot with five seconds left and James Harden fired in 18 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 118-117 win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Embiid finished with 30 points and seven rebounds, Tyrese Maxey scored 21 and Shake Milton contributed 17 as the 76ers began a five-game Western Conference road trip off on the right note.

Jordan Clarkson led the shorthanded Jazz with 38 points, nine rebounds and five assists. He momentarily put Utah ahead with a go-ahead bucket with 13 seconds left after the Jazz rallied out of a 20-point first-half deficit.

Talen Horton-Tucker scored 20 points off the bench for Utah, which played without four regulars, including leading scorer Lauri Markkanen, who was sidelined with a left hip contusion.

Rookie Walker Kessler totaled 15 points and 12 rebounds and Mike Conley added 14 points and eight assists for the Jazz, who had won two in a row.

The Sixers led the majority of the way after storming to a 20-point lead in the first quarter.

Trailing by 16, Utah pulled within five with 3:18 left in the half, thanks to an 11-0 run, including back-to-back dunks by Kessler and consecutive buckets from Clarkson.

Philadelphia went into the locker room at the half up 66-56 after Embiid banked in a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining.

Embiid gave the 76ers a 10-point lead in the third quarter with a three-point play. Utah responded with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to two.

Utah scored the final five points of the third quarter and then pulled even at 90-90 in the fourth on a Clarkson basket.

The 76ers regained an eight-point lead with an 11-3 run, including three 3s by Harden in a minute-and-a-half stretch.

Clarkson kept the Jazz in it with 17 points in the fourth quarter. After Embiid split a pair of free throws, Kessler tipped in a Clarkson miss to give the Jazz their first lead of the game, 115-114, with 33.9 seconds remaining.

The teams traded leads in the waning moments, with Harden making a short jumper followed by Clarkson hitting his go-ahead shot prior to Embiid’s game-winner.

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