Steven Adams stars as Oklahoma City Thunder hold off Philadelphia Sixers

Kiwi Steven Adams has played another critical hand for the Oklahoma City as they overcame a determined Philadelphia Sixers 122-112 to notch their eighth consecutive win.

Adams was tasked with slowing Philadelphia centre Joel Embiid and put in an admirable shift against the newly-named All Star, using his trademark physicality and uncompromising hustle to dominate the offensive boards and create a host of second-chance scoring opportunities for his side.

The 24-year-old formed a lethal combination with guard Russell Westbrook, running a relentless pick n roll game punctuated by a couple of emphatic alley-oops to ignite the home crowd.

Adams posted a final line of 20 points and 13 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive end, on an ultra-efficient 10 of 11 field goal attempts for his 17th double-double of the season.

There was no shortage of intensity between the two teams after their heated triple-overtime epic back in December with Westbrook and Embiid continuing their running dialogue throughout the contest.

With Westbrook struggling with his shot early it was Paul George who would step up to fill the scoring void.

Recently named as an injury replacement for the upcoming All Star weekend, George turned in a virtuouso performance at both ends of the court, spearheading a stifling Thunder defensive effort which proved a decisive factor in the final outcome.

Westbrook found his rhythm late with a handful of baskets to repel the Sixers' attempts at a comeback, finishing just shy of a triple-double with 37 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds, while George racked up 31 points and four steals.

Embiid was the pick of the Sixers with 27 points and 11 rebounds, with Australian rookie sensation Ben Simmons notching 22 points to go with four rebounds and seven assists.

The fifth-placed Thunder remain at home where they'll take on the Washington Wizards on Wednesday (NZT).


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