PLAYER GRADES: Philadelphia 76ers 108, Oklahoma City Thunder 104

The Philadelphia 76ers, for the first time in years, beat the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Thursday night’s TNT matchup took place with two MVP candidates on the sidelines. Joel Embiid and Paul George were injured for their respective teams, leaving the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder to duke it out.

It was a major test for the notoriously thin Sixers, who were able to emerge victorious behind strong outings from their remaining stars. Tobias Harris led all scorers with 32 points, his new career high in a Sixers uniform.

The first quarter was firmly in the Sixers’ corner, with Harris and J.J. Redick sparking an early run. Brett Brown’s squad led 37-26 after 12 minutes, torching OKC’s elite defense. The second quarter was much of the same, despite some Thunder pushback. The Sixers were still up 11 at halftime.

Oklahoma City was able to put together a more formidable run in the third quarter, trimming the Sixers’ lead to as few as two points. Harris was able to buoy the Sixers’ ailing offense midway through the quarter, though, restoring an 11-point lead with a personal 7-0 run, capped off by a Jimmy Butler bucket.

As a result, the Sixers were still up seven when the third frame ended. Harris had 24 points, while both Ben Simmons and Butler were on triple-double watch. The Sixers never relinquished the lead.

The pattern continued in the fourth. The Sixers and Thunder traded runs, with OKC riding an aggressive Russell Westbrook and Jerami Grant (that guy!) to cut into the Sixers’ lead. It wasn’t until another Tobias Harris run — eight straight points — that the Sixers went back up double-digits with two minutes left.

We’re talking about the Sixers, though, so naturally there were some theatrics left in store. Leading 103-93, the Sixers quickly gave up a 7-0 run behind questionable turnovers and poor defense. That led to a Brett Brown timeout.

Out of the timeout, the Sixers benefited from an OKC breakdown. Mike Scott was left unguarded on the three-point line and cashed in, stretching the Sixers’ lead back to six.

OKC still managed to trim the lead to two, but never got over the hump. It resulted in a four-point Sixers win — their first road win over the Thunder since the franchise moved to OKC.

Just one game after setting his highest scoring mark as a Sixer (29), Harris upped it once again in Oklahoma City, dropping 32 in an impressive showing on the road. He sparked two important runs in the second half, staving off OKC runs multiple times. His five triples were quite helpful.

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TOBIAS HARRIS

PF, Philadelphia 76ers

A

39 mins | 32 pts | 5 reb | 3 ast | 1 stl | 1 blk | 1 TO | 11-19 FG | 5-7 3PT| 5-5 FT | 2 PF | +6 |

Just one game after setting his highest scoring mark as a Sixer (29), Harris upped it once again in Oklahoma City, dropping 32 in an impressive showing on the road. He sparked two important runs in the second half, staving off OKC runs multiple times. His five triples were quite helpful.