NBA Round Up: Sixers cruise past Nuggets in Fultz's return
Philadelphia 76ers fans were already excited before Monday's 123-104 home win over the Denver Nuggets, thanks to the return of number one overall pick Markelle Fultz.
Fultz had been out since October with a shoulder injury, but he returned to score 10 points with eight assists in his first game back in the NBA.
All-Star Joel Embiid led the playoff bound 76ers with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Dario Saric added 20 points and six rebounds, while Ben Simmons scored seven points with 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
Philadelphia fell behind by eight points at half-time, but charged ahead in the third quarter, outscoring Denver 34-15.
The 76ers cemented their seventh successive win with a big fourth quarter.
Will Barton led the Nuggets with 25 points, but star Nikola Jokic was held to just 14 points and seven rebounds.
With the victory, the 76ers remain fourth in the Eastern Conference standings, one game behind the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Nuggets' loss was softened by the Minnesota Timberwolves' shock 101-93 defeat to the bottom-dwelling Memphis Grizzlies. However, Denver remain ninth in the Western Conference.
WALKER LIFTS HORNETS IN OT
Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker and New York Knicks guard Trey Burke were locked in duel during the former's 137-128 overtime victory. Burke scored a career-high 42 points with 12 assists, while Walker posted 31 points and seven assists. Walker also took over in overtime (11 points), helping Charlotte secure the win.
Playing against the team that drafted him, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored just 13 points on five-of-17 shooting (three of 10 from three-point range) in a 112-106 loss to the Detroit Pistons. Lonzo Ball led the Lakers with 15 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, but Caldwell-Pope couldn't find the same success.
FULTZ DELIGHTS PHILLY CROWD
The 19-year-old showed off his top-overall pick skills against the Nuggets.
Philadelphia 76ers 123-104 Denver Nuggets
Charlotte Hornets 137-128 (OT) New York Knicks
Memphis Grizzlies 101-93 Minnesota Timberwolves
Detroit Pistons 112-106 Los Angeles Lakers
Boston Celtics 102-94 Phoenix Suns
PACERS AT WARRIORS
Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers have surprised this season thanks to balanced scoring and team defense. Oladipo has looked like the best player in the Paul George trade, and could lead Indiana to playoff success. Reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors have lost three of their last five games and now will likely be without Stephen Curry through the first round of the playoffs.