Joel Embiid Returns, Explodes For 33 Points In Sixers’ 106-89 Win Over Pacers [VIDEO]
The Philadelphia 76ers were in the midst of a collapse. It seemed like the team, who went all in to add stars Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, was watching its championship window close after years of being historically bad. There was a 34-48 finish, followed by a 19-63, 18-64, 10-72, and a 28-54 before last years 52-30. All that for nothing, a one-year peak. Then, Joel Embiid returned.
With the franchise center in the lineup, the team shrugged off a 1-3 start to March, beating the Indiana Pacers 106-89 on Sunday night. The win was crucial, giving both teams a 42-25 record and vaulting the Sixers to the third seed in the Eastern Conference. But there was rust to shake off. The Sixers found themselves down by eight at the start of the second half. That’s when Embiid really came in handy. His ability to draw fouls was incredibly needed, with Pacers big men Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis racking up their fourth fouls early in the third quarter. Embiid capitalized on those fouls, making 11 out of 15 free throw attempts.
The matchup was also a showcase of the Indiana Pacers’ coaching staff. With star player Victor Oladipo shut down for the season, the team managed to hold off the Sixers for a few weeks and are still on top of a struggling Boston Celtics team. On Sunday night, coach Nate McMillan made sure to go after the 76ers’ poor defense at the guard position. Through a series of switches and subs, the Pacers were able to maneuver their way to successful matchups. Though they didn’t walk away with a win, it shows some hope for the franchise.
In his return, Embiid was good for 33 points and 12 rebounds in just 28 minutes. Harris kicked in an additional 16 points for Philadelphia and Ben Simmons scored 15. Indiana turned to forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who scored 18 points and pulled down five boards.
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