The Philadelphia 76ers made a move that bolsters their title aspirations so they are feeling extra giddy heading into Friday's home game against the Denver Nuggets. The 76ers acquired forward Tobias Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers to add to the star trio of center Joel Embiid, point guard Ben Simmons and forward Jimmy Butler.
Rookie guard Landry Shamet was the best player Philadelphia gave up in the six-player trade that also saw the 76ers send two first-round picks and two second-round selections to the Clippers. "We are in the unique position to contend now and we think this trade positions us well for the postseason," 76ers general manager Elton Brand said in a statement. "Tobias is one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA and possesses an innate ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor." Denver dropped its last two games and succumbed 135-130 to the host Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday despite center Nikola Jokic recording 25 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his 10th triple-double of the season. Shooting guard Gary Harris (groin) could miss his fifth straight contest while power forward Paul Millsap (ankle) is in jeopardy of sitting out his third in a row.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN, Altitude (Denver), NBCS Philadelphia LINE: 76ers -4.5
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (37-17): Point guard Jamal Murray (ankle) returned from a six-game absence to produce 19 points and 11 assists in 32 minutes during the loss to the Nets. Backup Monte Morris stepped up during Murray's absence and recorded 18 points, five rebounds and five assists off the bench against Brooklyn and is averaging 18.2 points on 60.3-percent shooting over the past five games. Reserve center Mason Plumlee emerged with a strong effort against Nets as he scored a season-best 24 points on 10-of-12 shooting.
ABOUT THE 76ERS (34-20): Philadelphia made two other trades prior to Thursday's deadline, acquiring forward James Ennis from the Houston Rockets and landing guard Jonathon Simmons and two draft picks (one first, one second) from the Orlando Magic for former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz. The 76ers gave up on the 20-year-old Fultz after 33 games played over 1 1/2 seasons, a span that included a shoulder injury as a rookie and treatment for thoracic outlet syndrome this season. Meanwhile, Harris is pleased to be in Philadelphia and said the following at his introductory press conference: "I think it's gonna be really exciting for myself playing and for the fans watching and for everybody around the league taking notice."
1. Jokic recorded 32 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists as the Nuggets posted a 126-110 home win over the 76ers on Jan. 26.
2. Philadelphia SG JJ Redick (illness) is expected to be back in the lineup after missing the past two games.
3. Denver swingman Will Barton is just 17-of-48 shooting over the last five games.
PREDICTION: 76ers 112, Nuggets 108 Bet Now
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