PHILADELPHIA — Ben Simmons scored 26 points, Joel Embiid had 19 rebounds and made some big plays down the stretch, and the Philadelphia 76ers held off the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-99 on Tuesday night.

Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers with 26 points, including a layup with 3:10 left that pulled Cleveland within one. Cedi Osman added 18 and put the Cavs ahead 97-96 with under 3 minutes to go as boos rained down in Philly.

But Mike Scott responded with a 3-pointer to put the 76ers back ahead. And after Simmons made a free throw and Jordan Clarkson a layup for Cleveland, Embiid followed his own miss with a thunderous dunk to give the Sixers a 102-99 lead with under a minute left.

Embiid, playing in his second game after missing eight straight with a sore left knee, had a block on the other end and then made four straight free throws to seal the win as “MVP! MVP!” chants replaced the boos.

Embiid and JJ Redick finished with 17 points apiece. Simmons added 10 rebounds and eight assists.

One night removed from a surprising 25-point win over second-place Toronto, Cleveland, owner of the third worst record in the NBA, put a big scare into the third-place team in the East.

After shooting just 22 percent from the field in the first quarter to fall behind 24-12, the Cavs took a 38-37 lead midway through the second quarter on two straight 3-pointers by Osman. Playing against one of the league’s worst defenses, the Sixers had 14 turnovers in the first half, holding a slim 53-47 halftime lead.

PACERS 103, KNICKS 98: Bojan Bogdanovic scored 24 points and Darren Collison made two free throws 19.5 seconds as Indiana slipped past visiting New York.

Indiana snapped its two-game losing streak and remained tied with Philadelphia for the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference. Collison finished with 16 points.

New York lost its seventh straight despite getting 21 points from Emmanuel Mudiay and 18 from Damyean Dotson. The Knicks also have lost six straight in the series.

The Knicks sure didn’t play like the league’s worst team – and the Pacers sure didn’t play like a team desperate for a win.

Instead, Indiana came out flat at home for a crucial contest during its toughest stretch of the season and it nearly cost the Pacers.

NOTES

SUSPENDED: The NBA suspended Toronto’s Serge Ibaka for three games and Cleveland’s Marquese Chriss for one game for their involvement in an on-court fight.

Chriss sat out Cleveland’s game Tuesday in Philadelphia. Ibaka will miss Toronto’s games against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, at Detroit on Sunday and against New York on Monday.

The NBA says Ibaka was the instigator and threw a punch at Chriss. The league also cited his history of fighting during games.

The suspensions are without pay. Ibaka will lose about $448,000 and Chriss about $22,000.