Philadelphia 76ers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 31 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists, reaching the triple-double to the tune of “MVP!” chants in the Philadelphia 76ers’ 133-113 win over the Houston Rockets on Monday night.

Furkan Korkmaz scored 24 points and Isaiah Joe had 18 points for the Sixers.

Garrison Matthews led the Rockets with 23 points.

The Sixers were slow to shake off a sub-.500 team — a familiar situation this season — and needed a 41-29 third-quarter to put some distance between themselves and the Rockets, the worst team in the Western Conference.

The Rockets played without guard Kevin Porter Jr. and forward Christian Wood after they were each suspended one game for bad behavior. Porter and Wood both had meltdowns in a loss Saturday to Denver. Rockets coach Stephen Silas said it was “best for our culture” to sit the duo for a game.

Embiid was unstoppable, rocking the arena early with a Euro-step, one-handed jam that shook the arena. Embiid walked to midcourt with his arms extended and soaked in the cheers.

Embiid, who scored 30 points for a fourth straight game, played the entire first quarter and carried the Sixers to a 34-30 lead. Korkmaz, making only his eighth start, stepped in as the able sidekick and hit three 3-pointers. Korkmaz subbed for Tyrese Maxey who, along with Matisse Thybulle, entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols.