Joel Embiid return inspires Philadelphia 76ers over Oklahoma City Thunder

2 weeks ago 49


Apr 03, 2024, 04:43 PM


Apr 03, 2024, 04:40 PM

LOS ANGELES – Joel Embiid overcame a “mental toll” to make a dazzling return from a two-month injury layoff and inspire the Philadelphia 76ers to an upset 109-105 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 2.

The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) reigning Most Valuable Player was a surprise late inclusion in the Sixers’ starting line-up at the Wells Fargo Centre, returning to the hardwood after suffering a knee injury in a defeat by the Golden State Warriors on Jan 30.

In Embiid’s absence, the Sixers’ season has been in free-fall, plunging into the play-in positions in the Eastern Conference rather than the automatic post-season spots.

The 30-year-old’s return on April 2 suggested the Sixers may yet be capable of upsetting the form book heading into the play-offs after battling past the Thunder, who went into the game as Western Conference leaders.

Embiid, who finished with 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds after logging nearly 30 minutes of game time, was visibly exhausted after dragging the Sixers over the line.

“Not good,” Embiid replied when asked how he felt following the victory. “But I’m glad we got through it and we got the win.”

Sixers coach Nick Nurse added: “I thought the biggest impact, he scored some, I thought he passed the ball really well, but again, when we start amping up our defence in the last six minutes he was down there again...

“He looked pretty good for not playing for a couple of months, that’s for sure.

Embiid said his rehabilitation from a torn left meniscus had been one of the most challenging injury layoffs of his career.

“Usually, when I have injuries, I just tell myself, move on to the next one, get better, and then fix it. But this one took a ...

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