Embiid strengthens MVP bid, 76ers hold off Pelicans 109-107

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New Orleans Pelicans’ Naji Marshall, center, goes up for a shot between Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, right, and Tobias Harris during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, May 7, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 37 points and 13 rebounds to the tune of “MVP! MVP!” chants and the Philadelphia 76ers inched closer toward securing the top spot in the East with a 109-107 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

Embiid made two free throws with 1:39 left to bring the Sixers within one, then grabbed a defensive rebound on the other end to set up Tobias Harris’ 3 with 1:10 left that made it 109-107.

Philadelphia forced two turnovers to seal the victory.

The Sixers won their season-high seventh straight game and increased their lead to three games over Brooklyn in the Eastern Conference.

New Orleans star Zion Williamson is sidelined indefinitely with a fractured left finger.

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