A Theo Maledon three-pointer dropped through the bottom of the net with less than three minutes to play, and an uncharacteristically subdued crowd briefly turned restless.

But then the 76ers quickly restored order, when Tobias Harris hit a shot beyond the arc and Maxey followed with a driving layup.

The Sixers overcame a listless start (and finish) — and got 25 points and a season-high 19 rebounds from Joel Embiid — to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 100-87, Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

“I just didn’t think we could make a shot,” coach Doc Rivers said. “I don’t know how many shots we had at the rim tonight, [but] nothing was going. I liked a lot of the things we were doing.”

The game was plopped in the waiting period before James Harden’s much-anticipated arrival in Philly following Thursday’s blockbuster trade that sent Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets. Harden and veteran forward Paul Millsap, whom the Sixers also acquired in the deal, are also not expected to play Saturday against Cleveland while they undergo physicals and other protocols to complete the trade.

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Embiid, like his team, overcame a slow 3-of-12 start from the floor to finish with the hearty stat line that also included four assists and five blocks. He came into the postgame press conference with his right wrist wrapped, and said he first noticed his “whole hand was pretty swollen” when he woke up Wednesday.

Maxey added 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting and five rebounds, despite being on a 30-minute restriction after entering Friday listed as questionable to play against the Thunder due to hamstring tightness.

The Sixers (33-22) won despite shooting just 38.7% from the floor. They had made just 13 of their first 45 field-goal attempts late into the second quarter, before an offensive rebound and dunk by Harris ignited a surge to create distance.

Maxey followed Harris’ bucket with a transition finish and coast-to-coast reverse layup right before the halftime buzzer put the Sixers up 46-41 at the break. Matisse Thybulle then started the third quarter with a steal and fastbreak dunk, before Maxey added a three-pointer to extend the Sixers’ lead to 51-41.

That advantage later grew to 16 points on an Embiid and-1 finish and free throw with less than a minute to play in the third quarter, then to 19 on a three-pointer by Danny Green that made the score 85-66 with about eight minutes remaining before the Thunder’s final run.

Shake Milton returns

Shake Milton was back on the floor for the first time since Jan. 3 (back contusion) and looked like a player who needed to regain his stride. Milton missed eight of his nine shots, including a baseline dunk attempt that rimmed off, and finished with four points, four rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes.

“It’s tough when you get injured during the season, because there’s no way to play,” Rivers said. “ … You cannot replicate [game minutes]. I’ve always said, when you come back in the middle of the year, these guys are rolling now. these guys have rhythm. They’re playing, and you’re coming in trying to figure it out.”

Milton entered the game to give Maxey a rest and run the point with the second unit at about the five-minute mark of the first, second and third quarters. He also played brief stretches at the end of each of the first three periods, and the start of the second and fourth, alongside Maxey. Rivers conceded he probably played Milton too many minutes.

Despite the shooting struggles, Milton’s presence helped solidify a guard rotation that has been out of whack for weeks. With Curry gone and Harden yet to arrive, Korkmaz started Friday’s game at shooting guard but did not need to handle the ball and initiate offense as much as in recent games. Isaiah Joe, who has been in the rotation some as of late, did not play until the Sixers emptied their bench in the final minute.

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Paul Reed, backup center

Rivers acknowledged before Friday’s game that backup center Andre Drummond was a late addition to the trade with the Nets, and that the Sixers would explore the buyout market for a replacement.

But that does not help the Sixers immediately. Friday night, second-year big man Paul Reed got those minutes behind Embiid. He finished with six points on 3-of-7 shooting and seven rebounds in 13 minutes.

Reed’s most eye-popping moment came for all the wrong reasons, when, after an athletic steal, he missed a breakaway reverse dunk attempt and fell down in a sequence worthy of Shaqtin’ a Fool. Other than that, though, Rivers was pleased with Reed’s outing.

“We’ll watch the film tomorrow for a joke,” Rivers said of the dunk snafu. “But that’s why I didn’t take him out. He was playing great. He’s the first one that knew that was the dumbest play of the night, right? So I didn’t tell him anything.”

Reed went 1-of-4 from the floor in seven first half minutes, but did contribute three rebounds and played solid defense. Right after checking in late in the first quarter, he collected a dive-on-the-floor steal and block on Thunder guard Ty Jerome inside that led to a Milton bucket.

During his second-half stint, Reed threw down a dunk to start the fourth quarter. He also tipped out an offensive rebound that led to a Georges Niang three-pointer.

“What Paul did tonight is what we’ve been trying to get him to do,” Rivers said. “He just stayed in his lane. He didn’t try to do too much. He was solid, other than the dunk attempt.”

Rivers also said after the game that, if and when the Sixers use Millsap, it will likely be at center.

» READ MORE: Harden trade makes Sixers favorites in the East

Harden presence

The Sixers first acknowledged Thursday’s trade in a more subtle way, removing clips of Simmons, Curry and Drummond and changing the song for their pregame intro video.

But midway through the second quarter, a video montage of Harden clips in his Thunder, Rockets and Nets jerseys played — before ending with an edited photo of him in a blue No. 1 Sixers jersey. Naturally, it drew a rousing ovation from the crowd.

At one point during the third quarter, a fan wearing a red No. 13 Harden Artesia High School jersey walked past the seats under the Sixers’ basket.