Carmelo Anthony delivered a throwback performance on Thursday by scoring 22 points as the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers stunned the Eastern Conference juggernaut Philadelphia 76ers, 121-105.
The depleted Blazers won despite an array of injuries that got worse earlier Thursday with the announcement that marquee player Damian Lillard was ruled out of the contest with an abdominal strain that had been hampering him for several games.
Portland was also missing Jusuf Nurkic (broken wrist), CJ McCollum (broken foot) and Derrick Jones (sprained foot), among others.
But the Trail Blazers are deep in talent and it showed against the Sixers as Gary Trent scored 24 points and Swiss Enes Kanter finished with 17 points and 18 rebounds in the win at the Wells Fargo Center arena.
Anthony shot eight of 14, dished out five assists and drained three of four threes.
Despite the revolving door on the infirmary this season the Blazers have managed to win 12 of their first 20 games, including Thursday’s shocker over the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Joel Embiid scored a game high 37 points, Furkan Korkmaz had 13 and Tyrese Maxey came off the bench to score 15 points for Philadelphia.
Embiid scored 31 of his points in the first half after an injury scare. Embiid hyperextended his knee in the first quarter after landing awkwardly while playing defence. He limped off the floor to received medical treatment but returned after about three minutes.
Elsewhere, Kelly Oubre exploded for a career-high 40 points as the visiting Golden State Warriors overpowered the Dallas Mavericks 147-116 in the opener of a two-game set.