PHILADELPHIA — LeBron James pulled Ben Simmons in for a hug, and smiled and laughed in a brief chat with Joel Embiid.
Allen Iverson watched the scene with a big grin and high-fived a few fans.
The 76ers of the past and present sure loved LeBron — but is that appreciation enough to make him a Sixer in the future?
Simmons topped James in a triple-double battle to lead the 76ers to their 13th straight win in their biggest game in six years, 132-130 over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
With a buzz in the city over the Sixers that hasn’t been felt since the pre-Process days, they romped to a 30-point lead in the first half and scored 78 points at the break.
PELICANS 122, SUNS 103
PHOENIX — Nikola Mirotic scored a season-high 31 points and tied a season best with 16 rebounds, Anthony Davis had 33 points and 11 boards, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Phoenix Suns 122-103 on Friday night.
Jrue Holiday added 22 points and 10 assists to help the Pelicans move into a tie for the Western Conference’s fifth seed with idle San Antonio and Oklahoma City. New Orleans (45-34) won its second straight after losing four in a row.
The Pelicans led by double digits throughout the entire fourth quarter.
KINGS 94, GRIZZLIES 93
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic acknowledged he didn’t have a very good night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Until the game’s closing seconds.
Bogdanovic knocked down a 16-footer with just over a second remaining, then tipped the ensuing Memphis inbounds pass to help Sacramento escape with a 94-93 victory Friday night.
Bogdanovic saved the Kings from blowing a double-digit lead in the final four minutes and salvaged a night where the rookie guard from Serbia was 4 of 11 from the field, including missing all five of his 3-pointers for eight points.
KNICKS 122, HEAT 98
NEW YORK — Dwyane Wade never needed to worry during Miami’s dominant days about looking up at the standings and wondering who the Heat would face to open the playoffs.
This time this matchup won’t be in their favor, but Wade just wants the Heat to be playing well when they get to it.
Rookie Damyean Dotson had career-high 30 points and 11 rebounds, reserve Luke Kornet added a career-best 17 points and the New York Knicks blew out the Heat 122-98 on Friday night.
HAWKS 103, WIZARDS 97
WASHINGTON — For a while, the mantra around the Washington Wizards was: “Everybody eats.”
With the regular season winding down, the slumping Wizards are starving.
Taurean Prince scored 23 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and the Atlanta Hawks rallied to beat the Wizards 103-97 on Friday night.
CELTICS 111, BULLS 104
BOSTON — With Kyrie Irving ruled out for the rest of the season, the Celtics now have a clearer picture of what their roster will look like entering the postseason.
In its 111-104 win over the Chicago on Friday night, Boston showed that at the very least it has a remaining group of players eager to step up and contribute to its injury-torn rotation.
Greg Monroe came off the bench and had 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to notch his second career triple-double. Jaylen Brown finished with a career-high 32 points as the Celtics stopped a two-game slide.
PISTONS 113, MAVERICKS 106
DETROIT — The Detroit Pistons are just playing for pride in the final days of the NBA season.
They’ve been eliminated from the playoffs — and haven’t even won a postseason game in 10 years — and they traded away their first-round pick for Blake Griffin.
Reggie Jackson, howver, found a reason to step up against the Dallas Mavericks.
Jackson scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Pistons beat the Mavericks 113-106 Friday night.