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Red-hot Redick fuels new-look Philly

Reuters

Philadelphia’s JJ Redick, right, shoots as Denver’s Mason Plumlee defends in the third quarter on Friday.

The Associated PressPHILADELPHIA (AP) — The new-look Philadelphia 76ers made a strong first impression with little time practicing together.

JJ Redick scored a season-high 34 points, Jimmy Butler had 22 and the Sixers beat the Denver Nuggets 117-110 on Friday with four players making their debut.

Tobias Harris had 14 points and eight rebounds in his first game for Philadelphia and Joel Embiid scored 15 and grabbed 12 boards despite playing with a stomach flu.

The Sixers made a flurry of moves before Thursday’s trade deadline, acquiring Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott from the Clippers, James Ennis from Houston and Jonathon Simmons from Orlando.

“You couldn’t ask for any better,” Harris said. “To play like that, get that reaction from fans, it meant a lot to me. It was awesome. Feels good to be appreciated.”

Nikola Jokic led Denver with 27 points and Jamal Murray had 23. The Nuggets, who have the second-best record (37-18) in the Western Conference behind Golden State, were missing two of their top five scorers: Gary Harris and Paul Millsap.

“You look at that starting lineup, aside from Redick, they have size, length and athleticism,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “They’re tough to handle.”

Harris hit a jumper to give the Sixers a 105-103 lead with under four minutes left and then grabbed a rebound to set up Embiid’s layup. Butler stole the ball, got fouled and hit a pair of three throws to extend the lead to 109-103.

Ben Simmons’ driving, left-handed dunk over Mason Plumlee thrilled the crowd and deflated the Nuggets.

Sixers legend Allen Iverson jumped from his courtside seat and smacked hands with fans after Simmons’ thunderous slam.

“It’s going to take time,” Simmons said. “Chemistry is going to start flowing. Right now, I’m happy with what I’m seeing.”

Philadelphia (35-20) is tied with Boston for the fourth spot in the East.

Sixers coach Brett Brown said his play sheet was “frugal” because he couldn’t prepare much in the short time since the trades.

“I thought they were unselfish,” Brown said. “They shared the ball. We moved when we didn’t have the ball. We have more to give.”

The Sixers took a 50-34 lead when Simmons lobbed an alley-oop pass to Butler for a one-handed jam and Ennis hit a 3 off a cross-court pass from Harris. But Denver answered with a 22-6 run to tie it at 56 at halftime. Philly led 83-82 after three quarters.

Harris helped ignite an early 10-0 run. He hit a 3-pointer, 8-footer and dished to Redick for an open 3 to cap the burst.

Marjanovic got a loud ovation when he entered the game midway through the first and another one after he scored on a driving layup.

Meanwhile, the Sixers retired Hall of Famer Moses Malone’s No. 2 in a halftime ceremony.

Malone helped lead Philadelphia to its last championship 36 years ago.

Members of the 1983 NBA championship team, including “Dr. J” Julius Erving, rang the team’s ceremonial bell at midcourt before the game.

Davis drops 32 as Pelicans win

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis didn’t need long to win back the crowd after being booed during his pregame introduction and the first few chances he had to handle the ball.

But the Pelicans sought to close out a tight game without Davis on the court anyway — and narrowly pulled it off.

Playing for first time since asking to be traded, Davis had 32 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 25 minutes, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 122-117.

Davis said hearing boos surprised him a bit and was “definitely awkward,” but added, “That’s life, man. Some people aren’t going to like it. I worry about playing basketball.”

“I just love the game, love playing,” Davis continued. And as he glanced around the locker room, he added, “Me and all these guys in here have a special relationship. And so obviously I want to be on the floor with them. They wanted me on the floor. And it was as simple as that.

“The other stuff, the outside noise, Twitter rants, it’s all good,” Davis said. “It doesn’t bother me. I want to play and being able to go out there and to be able to play the game I love for 25 minutes, it was fun.”

Jrue Holiday had 27 points and nine assists and Kenrich Williams had 19 points — and they led the Pelicans’ offense in the fourth quarter, when Davis was kept on the bench despite the teams being separated by as little as one basket several times in the waning minutes.

“I was not going to have him — first game back — play 38, 40 minutes,” Gentry said. “We had talked about playing between 22 and 25 minutes. That’s why he didn’t go back in the game. I thought he played well the minutes that he was in there and did a great job. He was typical Anthony.”Speech

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