PHILADELPHIA (AP) –was happy to be back on the court, even if he wasn’t thrilled with his game. Embiid had 24 points and eight rebounds in his return to the lineup, and scored 32 to lead the Philadelphia 76ers over the Minnesota Timberwolves 122-113 on Saturday night.
Embiidto a bone bruise in his left knee. The four-time All-Star and MVP candidate entered averaging 29.9 points and 11.5 rebounds in 31 games this .
Philadelphia big screen during warmups.in action, serenading a smiling Embiid with “M-V-P! M-V-P!” chants when he was shown on the
With his left knee heavily wrapped, Embiid moved well, but hiswasn’t quite as sharp as before he got injured on March 12 at Washington. Embiid shot 6 of 14 from the field but missed all four 3-point tries and converted 12 of 17 free throws.
“It felt great,” he said. “Just trying to get my rhythm back. I’m going to blame the brace I was wearing. I just felt like I didn’t have my rhythm all game. It felt like I wasn’t smooth. I hate the brace.”
Ben Simmons added 14 points, eight rebounds, and six assists for Philadelphia (34-15), which pulled even with idle Brooklyn for the best record in the.
“We won the game, but I wasn’t thrilled with how we played,” coach Doc Rivers said. “It was one of those sloppy, ugly games. We had so many chances to put the game away, but we refused to do that tonight.” Karl-Anthony Towns had 39 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists for the Timberwolves, with the worstat 12-38.
He is unstoppable. Just give him the ball,” said teammate, who added 27 points.
Led by Towns’ 17 points and eight rebounds, Minnesota hung around in the first half and trailed just 64-60 at the break. Philadelphia used a quick 13-0 run to start the second half, over which the 76ers didn’t miss a shot, to take control. The spurt was capped by Seth Curry’s free throw that made it 77-60 with 9:03 left in the third quarter following a technical foul on Minnesota coach Chris Finch.
That was too much ground for the Timberwolves to make up – although they did make it a game late.
In the, Minnesota got as close as four on several occasions, the previous on Edwards’ dunk with 2:02 left. But Harris was too much down the stretch, the Timberwolves got close. Harris four 76ers field goals, including a driving dunk that made it 117-111 with 1:46 to play. “Win by any means; that’s my mentality,” Harris said. “I intend to do whatever I can to walk into the locker room with a win.”
TOWNS VS. EMBIID
The two big men have an adversarial history, earning suspensions for a fight during an October 2019 game in Philadelphia, followed by a postgame exchange ofbarbs. Some moments on Saturday could’ve gotten heated, but Towns remained calm and leaned on his play.
He highlighted in the first half when he dunked over Embiid with 8:15 left in the second quarter. “Just a play, two points. Felt good to get two points on the board,” Towns said. “I ain’t worried about that squabble; I’m trying to get wins. Towns booed during introductions and, whenever he touched the ball, followed up the dunk with an emphaticon Philadelphia’s ensuing possession.
Embiid gained some revenge late in the half when he crossed over Towns, was fouled, and hit a short baseline jumper before landing on the court. Philadelphia’s big man spun Towns around with a hard foul with 7:04 left in the third, but nothing came of it. Embiid tried to keep Towns calm, although Townslooking unhappy. Finch wanted the officials to review the play for a possible flagrant foul, but there was no review.
Embiid got whistled for a Flagrant 1 foul with 7:38 left in the fourth when he slashed down at Towns’ arms while driving to the basket. “I’m not here towant; I’m here to win the game,” Towns said. “I take hard fouls .
Timberwolves: Finch, a Pennsylvania native from Reading, said he had friends in attendance. … Ricky Rubio (back) and Malik Beasley (hamstring) didn’t play. … Minnesota dropped to 5-21 on the road. 76ers: Rivers said afterward Embiid’s status for Sunday’s game against Memphis wasn’t yet determined, but the team would be more “cautious than aggressive” with its star center.
Philadelphia improved to 20-4 at home and 17-5 against teams under .500. … Veteran G George Hill participated in non-contact drills at shootaround. Hill, acquired by the 76ers on March 25, has been out24 with a thumb injury. … Embiid has missed 16 games with back and knee .
Timberwolves: Host the Sacramento Kings on Monday.
76ers: Host the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.
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