PHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid outplayed Giannis Antetokounmpo in Philadelphia’s first home Christmas game in 31 years, collecting 31 points and 11 rebounds to help the 3-point happy 76ers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 121-109 on Wednesday.

Tobias Harris sank five 3s, Josh Richardson and Furkan Korkmaz each had four, and even Embiid hit three as part of Philly’s season-high 21 3s (on 44 attempts) against a Bucks team that had the best record in the NBA.

Harris and Al Horford hit 3s over the final 90 seconds to push back a late Bucks run, and the Sixers improved to 16-2 at home.

There was a charged atmosphere for the anticipated matchup featuring Embiid and Ben Simmons taking on Khris Middleton and Antetokounmpo. Fans dressed as elves, wore ugly sweaters and held signs that said all they wanted for Christmas was a Sixers win.

They got it, with Embiid using the national showcase to play like an MVP in a dominant first half that helped the Sixers take the biggest halftime lead (21 points) against the Bucks under Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Embiid scored 23 points and was disruptive defensively, holding Antetokounmpo to 4-for-14 shooting in the half. The Sixers hit 11 3s in the half and made the Bucks (27-5) look like anything but NBA title contenders. Embiid stood firm under the basket, arms extended sky high on one Antetokounmpo drive in transition. Embiid absorbed the contact and the “Greek Freak” lost control of the ball.

With fans chanting “Trust the Process!” on Embiid free throws, the All-Star center was worthy of the holiday highlight video.

“I reminded our team, people in America have more appreciation for this day in the NBA,” 76ers Coach Brett Brown said. “We’re grateful for the opportunity.”

The Sixers aced their test against the NBA’s best.

“I’m not going to overvalue one game,” 76ers General Manager Elton Brand said, “but it’s a good barometer.”

It wasn’t just Embiid who flustered the Bucks. Korkmaz was knocked on his rear and buried Philly’s 16th 3 of the game late in the third quarter for a 93-67 lead that had the crowd going wild. Korkmaz’s shot capped a string of 3s on five straight Sixers baskets. Mike Scott, the reserve better known for his man-of-the-people popup appearances, became the seventh Sixer to hit a 3 for a 98-70 lead. The 76ers led 100-73 through three quarters.

Middleton scored 31 points and Antetokounmpo had 18 points and 14 rebounds. Antetokounmpo got flustered over a perceived missed call and was whistled for a technical in the fourth.

Philadelphia began the day with the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference. Brand held a state-of-the-franchise press conference before the game and preached chemistry and continuity would eventually get the Sixers among the best in the East, a conference many pundits picked them to win.

“We are going to get there,” Brand said. “Home-court advantage is important, but having Joel healthy in the playoffs in May, June, that is important to us. We could still grow into a team that could be a No. 1 seed.”

CLIPPERS 111, LAKERS 106: Kawhi Leonard scored 11 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter and had 12 rebounds to help the Clippers rally past the Lakers.

Montrezl Harrell had 18 points off the bench, Paul George added 17, and the Clippers improved to 2-0 against the Lakers this season.

Kyle Kuzma led Los Angeles with 25 points. LeBron James had 23 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, and Anthony Davis scored 24 points. The Lakers have lost four straight.

Los Angeles had a chance to tie in the final seconds, but video review showed James touched the ball last after Patrick Beverly knocked it away as James went up for a 3.

George hit two free throws for the final margin.

WARRIORS 116, ROCKETS 104: Draymond Green scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half, Damion Lee had 22 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, and Golden State upset visiting Houston.

D’Angelo Russell added 20 points, and Glenn Robinson III had 18 to help the Warriors win their third straight and end the Rockets’ four-game winning streak. Injury-ravaged Golden State improved to 7-24.

Russell Westbrook had 30 points and 12 rebounds for Houston. James Harden finished with 24 points and 11 assists, and Danuel House Jr. scored 18 points.

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